It is now at the center of the arguments of justice when it judges the State for “Climate inaction”, and constantly cited by MPs, communities or NGOs who want to accelerate the fight against climate change. Two years after its creation, the High Council for the Climate (HCC) has not only found its place among the many organizations on ecological transition, far from being yet another “Theodule committee”, as some feared. But with few resources, this independent authority has also succeeded in establishing itself as a major player in public debate, becoming a watchdog of public climate policies.

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Installed by Emmanuel Macron in the midst of the “yellow vests” crisis at the end of November 2018, this body is responsible for issuing opinions and recommendations on the government’s climate policy. Placed under the authority of the Prime Minister, it is made up of thirteen experts of climate science, economics, agronomy and energy transition, eight women and five men all very active in their disciplines. “Our installation made it possible to shift the debate, until then centered on the relevance of climate objectives, towards action: what to do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, where we should be and there where we are now ”, indicates the president of the HCC, Corinne Le Quéré, Franco-Canadian climatologist stationed at the British University of East Anglia.

In addition to its annual reports, the HCC produces thematic reports on ecological transition issues, whether it concerns the renovation of buildings, 5G, France’s carbon footprint or the recovery plan, and it monitors previous requests. A pace that has accelerated in recent months, to respond to the many referrals from ministers or to deal with issues on their own. “The HCC meets every month to orient the work, define the key points and establish the recommendations of the reports which are drafted by a secretariat of six permanent”, specifies Corinne Le Quéré.

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“Legitimacy”

By daring to publish reports critical of government action, the High Council for the Climate assumes its independence. Month after month, he asked France to “Straighten out and accelerate”, while “Climate actions [du pays] are not up to the stakes nor [ses] Goals ” (July 8, 2020), called on it to reduce its CO emissions2 related to imports, which are on the rise (October 6, 2020), or even to increase energy renovations and make them much more efficient, while emissions are falling too slowly in the building sector (November 24, 2020).

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