France/Decentralisation: the Senate gives a veto right to mayors to oppose the implantation of wind turbines

Published on 11/07/2021 | La rédaction


As part of the discussions on the "3DS" bill, the Senate majority adopted an article giving municipal councils the right to veto wind turbine projects in their municipality.

The Senate right-wing is doing it again. After having introduced a similar provision in the bill on climate change, the Senate majority has done it again during the examination of the provisions of the bill on ecological transition, in particular the distribution of competences between local authorities and the State on this subject.3DS" devoted to the ecological transition, and in particular the distribution of competences between local authorities and the State on this subject.

"The main reason to give this veto is that you are against wind turbines"

This recurrence has not escaped the green group, which had already had to swallow the snake during the review of the Climate Law: "This is an amendment already voted in the Climate Law. I don't understand why this article is being reintroduced," explains Guy Benarroche, falsely surprised. Even if it means replaying the game, the Green senator from Bouches-du-Rhône is willing to play his part: "After this surprise, I'm going to put a coin in the machine.

He continues by denouncing what he considers to be the hypocrisy of the senatorial majority which disguises its aversion to wind turbines as a reinforcement of local liberties: "It is a false gift that you make to the mayors and the communes. This intention to give more power to the local level, which is a good intention, you are only granting it to the wind turbines that you want to ban. The main reason for giving this veto is that you are against wind turbines and you do not want any wind turbines to be installed. [...] This veto right is a climatic nonsense and a nonsense with regard to the power of the mayors that you want."

Jacqueline Gourault, the minister in charge of defending the government's bill that did not include this provision, without going so far as to align herself with the ecologist senators, says she is against a measure "that goes too far": "I agree to involve the municipalities, since the matter can be felt very differently depending on the territories, but the right of veto is a bit strong.»

"This debate is the result of the government's inaction on the subject"

This in-between of the government is not to the liking of the socialist senator Didier Marie: "This debate is the fruit of the inaction of the government on the subject. That one is favorable to the development of wind energy is a thing, but one attends an anarchic development of the terrestrial wind energy in a certain number of departments. This exposes the population to nuisances."The senator from Seine-Maritime adds, in considerations that this time clearly go beyond the object of the bill, but which are necessary in a debate that sometimes revolved more around wind power than decentralization: "There must be a regulation put in place and accelerate of the maritime wind. The energetic profitability is clearly superior.

The senatorial majority has moreover adopted several provisions allowing a "better information" of the mayors upstream of the implantation of wind turbines. An amendment of Louis-Jean de Nicolay was moreover adopted against the opinion of Jacqueline Gourault to allow the regions to regulate the distance separating the wind turbines from the houses according to the height of the machines. The Minister of the Cohesion of the territories estimated "that instead of giving that to a region which is not competand equipped to do that", it was better "to let the services of the State" manage that "on a case by case basis". "The region is a space too far from the situation" joined her the senator RDPI (LREM) Alain Richard. Insufficient justifications for the Senate majority, which adopted the amendment and voted the article of the bill.


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