to adapt, France must invest 2.3 billion euros a year

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

Water, forests, terrain… 18 proposals for “new adapted investments”

The study identified 18 measures, divided into three main chapters. First, the funding of posts for “improved coordination and management of adaptation policies” totaling 250 million euros. Then the strengthening of services already contributing to adaptation (weather, civil protection, etc.) by 540 million euros. Finally, earmarked funding for “already mature” projects, especially in the field of infrastructure networks or housing, totaling 1.5 billion euros.

This is “at least 2.3 billion euros in an additional year that can be mobilized from the next financial bill,” the report emphasizes.

These 18 proposals range from relatively modest budgets, such as a €2.5 million “research national public health program to predict and prevent climate risks”, to envelopes of hundreds of millions. Thus, the “annual support package for the dissemination of good adaptation practices in the city” is estimated at 500 million euros, as well as additional costs for the future construction of “educational and research buildings”. I4CE also proposes to finance the implementation of the roadmap for the adaptation of French forests to climate change (25 million euros).

It is important that “new investments be adapted, in particular solutions that provide for future amounts far in excess of these 2.3 billion” euros, the authors of the report, Vivian Depues, insist.

“We are waiting very little to prepare for the consequences”

“At the moment we are not ready, especially in terms of funding” for adaptation measures, notes Benoit Lege, CEO of I4CE. The adaptation is “completely forgotten, and the funding also goes by the wayside,” he regretted 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 the actors that make this transition.”

Today in France, we are still actively responding, for example, often on an emergency basis the day after an extreme weather event. 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 topic of adaptation receives high-level inter-agency support,” if possible in Matignon, as well as human and financial resources, notes Morgan Nicol, one of the authors.

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

But this forward-looking vision of “more structural transformation” should be the subject of debate, allowing for “political prioritization and arbitrage” at the “reliability levels” required, for example, from infrastructure or even from basic socio-economic systems, agriculture. or tourism for example.