7 items tagged "France"

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The revival of critical mineral extraction and metallurgy threatens French water bodies

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 24 April 2024 12:11

Eau Secours 34, 25 April 2024

Key events in the revival of mining and metallurgy in France

Between 1980 and 2005, France closes almost all its mines and associated metallurgical sites, due to competition from countries with much lower production costs.

In 2008, the price of several metals begins to rise again. These metals are now produced outside the EU by a handful of countries that have a quasi monopoly. The Raw Materials Initiative published by the European Commission sets out the economic and geopolitical risks for Member States and proposes ways of securing supplies of these metals for European industry.

The Fillon government then launches the policy of what would later be called the « renouveau minier français » and in 2011 creates the Committee for Strategic Metals (COMES). In 2012, Arnaud Montebourg, Minister for Productive Recovery in the Ayraud government, declares that he wants to make France a mining country again. A simplification of procedures is introduced into the mining code in 2014. In 2015, Emmanuel Macron, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Technologies in the Valls government, launches the « mine responsable » Initiative, which is criticised by all the environmental ngos. In 2016, like Arnaud Montebourg, he advocates the return of mining to France. From 2012 to 2016, a large number of mining exploration and research permits (PERM) are granted, but these are so strongly opposed by local elected representatives, affected communities and environmental ngos that most of them are withdrawn in 2017. This marks the end of the « renouveau minier français », but not the end of the revival of the extraction of critical and strategic minerals in France.

Thinking of glaciers as actors in a world we inhabit in common

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Sunday, 04 July 2021 10:03

In 1944, as the Second World War raged and brutalised the world, Aldo Leopold asked himself the question of the « ethics of the Earth ». Faced with broken humanism and devastated living environments, this American forest engineer urges us to take a mountain point of view to shift internally and give us the means to change the world. What if our existences were mixed with those of other living beings and moving entities, and if together they formed a network tending towards a common future? What if humans, animals, mountains, forests, rivers, glaciers, and grasslands shared more than just a utilitarian relationship, and if they coexisted beyond or below narrow forms of cost calculations – interests that we, humans from industrial modernity, have assigned to them? These are the questions which animated the forerunner of ecological thought more than half a century ago; these are the questions we wish to ask today.

Our story is about a glacier. A glacier overlooking a deep valley in the Hautes-Alpes, at the foot of La Meije in the canton of La Grave. A glacier on which an operating company has decided to build a third section of the cable car, reaching a peak of 3,600 meters, thus becoming the worthy competitor of the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix. This infrastructure with the aim of providing summer skiing is totally obsolete in the age of climate change! In the future it would also open up the possibility of creating yet another super ski area, eventually linking the resorts of Alpe d’Huez, Deux Alpes and La Grave.

Letter to the investors of Tunsgtène du Narbonnais Company

Category: Press Releases
Created on Monday, 08 June 2020 22:02

The European Water Movement co-signed the following letter.

Stop Mines 81
La Métairie Haute
81260 Fontrieu - France
stopmines81 (at) laposte.net

Fontrieu, 8 June 2020

To the investors of Tunsgtène du Narbonnais Company

Copy to President, Prime Minister, Minister of economy and finance, Minister for ecological and solidarity transition, of the French Republic; Tungstène de Narbonnais Company

Dear Sirs,

You have expressed a wish to invest in the Tungstène du Narbonnais Company by applying to the French government for a prospective licence (« la Fabrié ») in august 2018, aiming to exploit local tunsgten ore.

The mining industry and its repercussions are well-known here. The mines that have been operating here in the past have led to a series of scandals due to their effects on the environment and on the health of the local residents : Saint-Salvy (zinc), Montroc (fluorine), Salsigne (gold).

Thus a wide array of local and national groups have ranked up as soon as the project was made public.

Mining operations are first and foremost detrimental to one vital resource : water.

Analysis of the difficulties accessing water encountered by households in arrears on their water bills in France

Category: Reports & Publications
Created on Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:43


Analysis of the difficulties accessing water encountered by households in arrears on their water bills and perceptions of the quality of the water companies’ management of these households in France

Based on complaints registered on the Coordination Eau Ile de France and Fondation France Libertés water supply disconnections and disconnection threats complaints platform over the period 2014 to March 2017.

February 2018


Irrigation and pesticide use : the French government at the service of the agro-industrial system

Category: Press Releases
Created on Tuesday, 12 June 2018 17:25

Press release by Attac France

Alongside the unprecedented offensive against public services and labour law, the government is radically changing water and agricultural policies, at the service of the agro-industrial system and under the false pretext of the fight against climate change.

In 2017, the Ministers Nicolas Hulot and Stéphane Travers relaunched the territorial projects concerning agricultural irrigation at the request of the FNSEA (Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d'Exploitants Agricoles) and Irrigants de France while creating an expertise cell on water resource management in the agricultural field. This cell has the undeclared objective of breaking down regulatory barriers, reducing or even eliminating environmental impact studies and associations' appeals against these projects; as is happening with wind power and methanisation projects. In addition, the government requires water agencies to participate in the financing of basins, hill reservoirs and water transfers, whereas this same government has decided to drain their budgets (relying almost solely on domestic user fees) and ask them to reduce their staff.

Citizens' participation in the management of water services in Europe : Montpellier

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Thursday, 17 November 2016 14:13

The European Water Movement asked associations and collectives, who acted for the return of public management of their local water services, to describe the citizens' participation mechanisms in service management (implemented, being implemented or desired mecanisms), and to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. In this article,the association Eau Secours 34 presents the case of Montpellier.

Until 2016, France had about 34 000 water and sanitation services. Territorial reforms passed in 2014 and 2015, will divide them by 10. With 3500 to 4000 significantly larger services, serving from 15 000 to hundreds of thousands of users, the question of citizens' participation will become even more fundamental since users will further away from decision centers. Therefore, there is a risk of citizens' participation dilution in a context that will also be characterized by the implementation of the Directive on the award of concession contracts.

The overexploitation of ground water in the South Western Vosges by Nestlé Waters and the Ermitage cheese dairy

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 21:48

An environmental disaster and obvious conflicts of interest implicating Nestlé

These two agribusinesses, which use 50% of water resources, have been responsible for at least 30 years of permanent deficits (in the order of 1.3 million cubic meters per year) in the underground water basin called the « Vosges Sandstones ».

The three environmental associations sitting on the Local Water Commission condemn the solutions proposed by this commission: water savings by households, no savings by industry and a massive transfer of water on a distance of 30 to 50 kilometres (the Suez group is in charge of this study). Without any assessment of the environmental impacts and despite climate change warnings, the Vosges Departmental Council has already provisionally funded a first phase of the works in March 2016.

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