France needs to invest 2.3 billion euros a year to adapt

Buildings, water, energy or transport networks, preparation of coastal or mountain areas, health impact studies: at least € 2.3 billion a year in additional funding needed to adapt France to climate change, according to a report by the Institute for Climate Economics (I4CE) published on Thursday. This NGO is studying the cost of adapting to natural disasters caused by global warming.

Water, forests, relief … 18 offers for “new adapted investments”

The study identifies 18 activities, divided into three main chapters. First, funding for positions to “improve the coordination and management of adaptation policies” totaling € 250 million. Then the strengthening of services that already contribute to adaptation (weather, civil protection, etc.), by 540 million euros. Finally, targeted funding for “already mature” projects, in particular in infrastructure networks or housing, for a total of 1.5 billion euros.

This is “at least 2.3 billion euros for an additional year, which can be mobilized from the next financial bill,” the report insists.

These 18 proposals range from relatively modest budgets, such as the National Health Research Program for Climate Risk Prevention and Prevention, worth € 2.5 million, to hundreds of millions. Thus, the “annual support package for the dissemination of good adaptation practices in the city” is estimated at EUR 500 million, as well as the additional costs for the future construction of “educational and scientific buildings”. I4CE also offers to fund the implementation of the roadmap for the adaptation of French forests to climate change (25 million euros)

It is important that the “new investments” are adapted, in particular decisions that provide for future amounts much larger than this 2.3 billion euros, insists the author of the report Vivian Deppu.

“We expect very little to prepare for the consequences”

“At the moment, we are not ready, particularly for funding” adaptation measures, says Benoit Lege, I4CE’s general manager. Adaptation “is generally forgotten, and funding is also relegated to the background,” he lamented during the presentation. Because “if it’s good to have climate goals, it’s even better if those goals are accompanied by a funding plan to support those making the transition.”

In France today, we continue to respond actively, often urgently the day after the extreme weather, for example. But we expect very little to prepare for the effects of climate change.

Vivian Depot

“In the short term, we need to ensure that the adaptation entity benefits from high-level inter-ministerial support, if possible in Matignon, as well as human and financial resources,” said Morgan Nicole, one of the authors.

Part of the investment will be used to combat existing “increased risk”, such as the geographical and seasonal spread of forest fires, which will require more funds for emergency services to maintain the former level of efficiency, the authors note.

But this forward-looking vision for “more structural transformation” should be the subject of a debate that will allow for “political priorities and arbitration” on the “levels of reliability” required from infrastructure, such as even basic socio-economic systems, agriculture. . or tourism, for example.