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France was one of the first countries to create an environment ministry, in 1971. According to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index conducted by Yale and Columbia, France was the sixth-most environmentally conscious country in the world, one place higher than the previous report in 2010. [1]

Sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Local sustainability initiatives[edit source]

Please see our local or city pages via the France category, where of course you can share any more information you may have about local sustainability initiatives.

Initiatives by topic[edit | edit source]

Climate action[edit | edit source]

See List of climate assemblies, France

Version française du site internet de la CCNUCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

Communities online[edit | edit source]

La 27e Région

Community currencies activism[edit | edit source]

SoNantes, complementary currency, Nantes region.

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: France National Renewable Energy Action Plan, Solar power in France, Wind power in France

Ekopedia: Propositions énergétiques pour la France

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Open Democracy

Wikipédia: Commission nationale du débat public

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Critical Mass bicycle rides in France

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Creating a vibrant local food ecosystem through government-NGO collaboration[edit | edit source]

Up until a few years ago, the residents of Loos-en-Gohelle, a small town in rural northwestern France with over 6,000 residents, consumed imported industrial food products despite significant local production. In addition to the negative health impacts of their diet, this practice also hurt the local economy. In 2013, the town government of Loos-en-Gohelle started a project called VITAL as part of an ambitious program to improve the diets of Loos-en-Gohelle residents.

The project was built on an existing initiative called Anges Gardins, run by a local association that has worked on community gardens and food education for years. It is also part of a long-term, comprehensive transition to a diverse, sustainable local economy from one dependent on coal mining — an industry that vanished when the French government closed the region's coal mines in 1990, in favor of cheaper imports. Food is viewed as a cross-cutting issue, capable of supporting transition in other sectors.

The policy has a two-pronged strategy to meet the goal. First, to stimulate the demand for local, organic food through education, gardening ambassadors, free produce from open food gardens, and more. The town government led by example, by shifting to 100 percent organic food procurement for schools and 15 percent for retirement homes.

Second, to encourage farmers to convert to organic farming and support food distribution. To help achieve this, the town offered farmers free access to land on the condition that they grow organically and that they convert some of their own existing agricultural land to organic as well, thus raising the share of lands grown organically to 10 percent. Terre d'Opale, another local association, coordinates the farmers to ensure diversity of local production and manage distribution. Distribution is handled weekly through a combination of an online store, delivery of food boxes to local collection points, and procurement through catering businesses.

The program has operated successfully for three years. As the program benefits the entire local food ecosystem, including consumers, farmers, food kitchens, and distributors, it continues to grow and serve more and more of the community. [2]

Other links[edit | edit source]

Archives de Cuisson Solaire - Incredible Edible Fréland - La Ruche qui dit Oui ! - Open Food France - Solar cooking resources in France

Networks: Les Incroyables Comestibles

Ekopedia: Association Végétarienne de France

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: List of national parks of France, Regional natural parks of France

Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle[edit | edit source]

Zero Waste Challenge, Roubaix[edit | edit source]

With an annual average of 243 kg (over 535 pounds) of waste per capita, citizens of Roubaix, in the north of France, were producing less than half their country's average Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Yet their aim to reduce it even further has brought about the Zero Waste Challenge.

Despite having no executive power on separate collection and other waste-related activities, the city has started a program to lead the zero waste movement in France. The initiative challenges around one hundred volunteer families to reduce the amount of solid waste produced at household level by 50 percent over the course of a year. Offering support through an array of events like workshops, coaching initiatives, and other activities such as food exchanges, the program gives no directions — only suggestions. Interestingly, the program bypasses any intermediaries, therefore creating a direct channel between the city and the families taking part.

After the first year, results were more than encouraging, with 70 percent of participating families having reduced their waste production by around 40 percent, while 25 percent of them had achieved an 80 percent reduction. The policy is now also replicated to target other actors such as public offices, four schools, and shopkeepers in the urban area of Roubaix. [3]

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Tramway de la Communauté Urbaine Nice Côte d'Azur

Wikipedia: Rail transport in France, Trams in France

Waterways & Canals: The French natural and man-made waterways network is the largest in Europe extending to over 8,500 kilometres (5,300 mi). Approximately 20% of the network is suitable for commercial boats of over 1000 tonnes and the VNF (English: Navigable Waterways of France, the French navigation authority) has an ongoing programme of maintenance and modernisation to increase depth of waterways, widths of locks and headroom under bridges to support France's strategy of encouraging freight onto water.

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Aug 10 A crime called "ecocide": how Macron in France, and the Danish Parliament, are willing to use laws (and referenda) to hit climate targets [4]

Jul 27 France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars [5]

Jun 21 La convention citoyenne pour le climat souhaite un référendum sur la Constitution et le crime d’« écocide » [6]


Apr 26 ‘Imagination Taking Power’: my Transition Tour de France, Rob Hopkins [7]


Have imagination, will travel: 2 days in Brest, Rob Hopkins, Dec 4 [8]

'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city, Oct 15 [9]

Apr 5 State-Sanctioned Agroecological Transition? The State of Food in France [10]


How This Petite French Town Turned a Stadium Boondoggle Into Free Public Transportation, Oct 25 [11]

Point d’étape Chambre des Communs de Lille, Apr 15 [12]

Rob en France: 6 jours de rencontres fascinantes (6 days of fascinating encounters), Apr 12 [13]

L’Atelier Paysan is a French cooperative that works with farmers to design machines and buildings adapted to the specific practices of small farm agroecology, Mar 17 [14]

France offers €200 subsidy on electric bike purchases, Feb 23 [15]

“Now you’re all here, and it feels fantastic”: 3 days in France. Feb 1 [16]

French Development Agency Champions the Commons as New Vision for Development, Jan 18 [17]

French parks and public gardens bid adieu to pesticides, Jan 5 [18]


Ce village français anticapitaliste et 100 % autonome a tout compris ! Dec 3 [19]

France bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery, Sep 17 [20]

France moves towards full ban on pesticides blamed for harming bees, Mar 18 [21]

France says ‘no’ to all new oil exploration permits, January 14 [22]

‘Doggy bag’ law comes into force in France, January 4 [23]


Casau Community Garden, Salies, France. November 19 [24]

France's plan to increase its soil carbon is an example to the world, October 17 [25]

A remarkable day in Ungersheim, a Village in Transition, September 28 [26]

France tilting toward nuclear phase-out, September 9 [27]

France to force big supermarkets to give away unsold food to charity, May 22 [28]

France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels, March 29 [29]

This new law is designed to make products easier to repair, so they stay out of the trash, March 9 [30]

Koolicar & Titi Flores Partner to Launch Carsharing in Nantes, France, February 3 [31]


French city Grenoble bans advertising in favour of trees, November 24 [32]

Climat : quand les citoyens se mobilisent, novembre 5 [33]

France decides to start paying people to bike to work! June 4 [34]

France bans crop spraying during daylight hours to protect bees, May 7 [35]

Weaving together sustainable journeys in Toulouse, May 7 [36]

French Parliament Votes to Prohibit All Strains of GMO Corn, April 18 [37]


Compost Candidates, Oct 19 [38]

France Becomes First Country to Ban Extraction of Natural Gas by Fracking, [39] June 30


Pavement power lights up Toulouse, [40] April 13


French redefine wealth to include happiness, [41] September 15


France Joins the Billion Tree Campaign, [42] January 18

Resources[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability[edit source]

City Gardens, maps over 400 green spaces in Paris and has expanded to provide similar services to the French cities of Metz, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg and the European Green Capital of 2013, Nantes. [43]

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

open data 71, le Département de Saône-et-Loire libère ses données -, open data, Rennes

Maps[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Atlas of France

Video[edit | edit source]

More video: Grand Designs, Brittany Groundhouse, Channel 4, 26 Feb 2009

Local communities in France[edit | edit source]

Interwiki links[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: France, France, Environment, Haute Qualité Environnementale

Ekopedia, French / Français


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