Hello, and congratulations to News Tank, thank you for taking the lead and organizing this day entirely dedicated to a major topic for the future.
Many thanks also to the Centre Pompidou. It is finally quite natural to hold this day of exchanges here since this place has always been a chamber of echo of all the issues of society, and has always been able to seize it with the artists, with the debate of ideas, with the students who come to the BPI, in this pluridisciplinarity and transversality that make up the DNA of this Centre Pompidou. Thank you to Laurent LE BON and all the teams of the center for your welcome. Happy birthday to News Tank, 10 years all the same.
I also take this opportunity to thank and greet all the officials of the Ministry of Culture who did not wait for me at the head of the Ministry to also engage a substantive work and a structural reflection on these subjects and all the public institutions, all operators and so-called labeled structures of the Ministry of Culture. These are fairly mature debates today because you took them with your hands rather early.
When I arrived, thank you for reminding us that, as soon as I took office on May 20, I indicated that the ecological transition was one of our department’s top priorities. This was also reflected in the composition of my team, I insist on this because it is unprecedented, it had never been the case in previous firms, with a position dedicated to follow up on this issue of ecological transition, and not the least, since it is my deputy chief of staff, Karine DUQUESNOY, who is here and who will be in charge of this major project. Thank you.
We are facing several challenges, both short-term, medium-term and long-term. It’s complicated to do it all together, because we’re all so overwhelmed by so many other priorities, but it’s all connected, and I know that’s been the subject of all of your discussions today. I realize that the prerequisite for all this is that we need data and that we don’t have that much. That is what I have been trying to see since I joined the department. Not all institutions have done carbon assessments, some have, but they are from 2015, 2016, 2017, and must be
We launched, seeing the emergencies of the fall and winter, a questionnaire that was distributed in the summer to a large number of cultural structures, but also to the structures dependent on the communities to try to bring up proposals and suggestions on the management of the subject of the energy crisis of this winter, and the reduction of energy consumption also in the light of inflation which is important, although in France we have the lowest inflation in the European Union. We are at 6.8% when Germany is at 8.5, when Italy is at 8.5, when Spain is at more than 10, or even 11, or when Great Britain is at more than 10.
We are still better off than elsewhere, but we are going to have to deal with this increase in the cost of energy and this need for energy efficiency, which a number of you and cultural actors who are not in this room have already taken up. We are trying to gather all these proposals and draw up a vade-mecum in mid-October. It will not be guidelines since each place has its own specificities but advice from all these good practices and all these experiments already made to reduce energy consumption.
You know, moreover, that the objective that has been set for us, transversally, for the whole government and for all the sectors for which we are responsible, beyond Culture, is to reduce our level of energy consumption by 10% by 2024. Some of you, Universcience, the Palais de Tokyo and others have already been pioneers in this area and have even set more ambitious targets for 2030 or 2050, with very proactive planning, and I applaud those efforts.
We must all put that minus 10% number in mind by 2024 and think about how, starting this fall, starting this winter, certain decisions will be implemented. They will not be ad hoc for this fall but will last for all the other autumns and all the other winters, and then, in summer, obviously on air conditioning issues. For the moment, there is a doctrine that has been announced for everyone, and which seems attainable because it is rather reasonable: it is in terms of heating: no more than 19 degrees in winter, and in terms of air conditioning, no less than 26 degrees in summer. So we already have those benchmarks.
But that is not enough for us in the cultural sector. And there are very different realities, whether we are a theatre, a large institution, whose building itself is structurally energy intensive, such as the BNF or whether we are a museum or a school of architecture or a conservatory. We need to model as much as possible, this will be done with the National Drama Centres (NDCs), for example. We are not going to ask every CDN in France for a carbon balance. We will make a sample of CDNs representative of what energy consumption is in a CDN and establish a carbon reference of that sample.
So we’re going to try to streamline. That’s very concrete about this data escalation.
which is the prerequisite for then establishing a policy of priorities, and finding ways of putting them
We will also need international coordination for various subjects such as, for example, air conditioning in museums for the conservation of works, what will be decided in Germany? what will be decided elsewhere in Europe? elsewhere in the world? We will have to work together, and these are issues that I have raised with my counterparts in neighbouring countries, whenever I have had the opportunity to meet with them, because these are issues that they are also raising in a fairly high priority in their countries.
I do not yet have the answers, at the beginning of September, but I am telling you where we are working, and I hope that we will have other opportunities to come to conclusions. To begin this substantive work, which will, in the longer term, guide us in this ecological transition, we have set five axes, five themes of work, on which we have engaged all the teams of the department since the summer, and on which you will all be, at some point, partners.
The first was called “Creating Differently. New Sustainable Practices”. Creating something else can be, for example, encouraging the recycling of decorations, that can be all that is being developed in terms of eco-design of exhibitions... Think about how, upstream of a creative process, whether it be an artist or an institution, to create differently, taking into account, from the outset, the issue of ecological transition and reducing the carbon footprint.
The second axis is to develop a sober cultural digital. It is a matter of understanding where we can take action to reduce the cultural digital footprint, even though we also want France to exist. You talked about this challenge of cultural sovereignty, which I mentioned in my priorities. we also want to be present in the virtual world, we also want to be present in the Metavers, we also want the voice of France to be strong. How can we do that while also taking into account these digital carbon footprint issues? We do not yet have the solutions, but we are working on them.
The third axis, since we are also the Ministry of Heritage, Landscapes and Architecture, we named it: «Inventing the territories and landscapes of tomorrow». This axis is very important for me, since I think that the Ministry of Culture can be a force for proposing that we manage to reconcile the development of renewable energies and the protection of heritage. One of our projects in particular will be on photovoltaics: how to integrate solar panels intelligently? We are not going to stand up and say no to all the solar panels wherever there is a historic monument in a x-metre horizon. The idea is to define how to work with the communities, with the industrialists who design them, because there are more and more technologies adapted to the protection of heritage in terms of weight, aesthetics, materials. That’s one example, but there are many others.
The fourth axis is “Preserve and conserve for tomorrow”. Earlier, I gave the example of the degree of air conditioning used to preserve works of art, but there will be others. The Ministry is also a Ministry of Archives, a Ministry of Conservation of Works, a Ministry of Preservation of Built Heritage and Intangible Heritage, the question of the conservation of all this heritage wealth in a logic of ecological transition will come up a lot.
The fifth and final axis is the issue of mobility. We called it “Rethinking mobility for an accessible culture”. We also have to reconcile the challenge of reaching out to new audiences, reaching out to young people, continuing to renew audiences, welcoming them in the best way possible while reducing the carbon footprint of their mobility, which is one of the primary sources of the culture’s carbon footprint. There are carpooling initiatives, how can we encourage them? Is that enough?
All these questions will also be asked. I think there is no taboo to talk about, for example, differentiated rates: will a tourist coming from China pay the same rate at the entrance to the Louvre as a Parisian who comes by bike? I am caricaturing, but we will have to ask ourselves these kinds of questions. We don’t have the answers yet, but we have to do this work with all the cultural structures and also look at how European countries are positioning themselves on these issues. All these questions to rethink mobility and the carbon footprint of mobility will be at the heart of our discussions.
Here are the five areas of action, each of which will be short-term, medium-term, long-term, and on which we are engaging all of the department’s teams.
We already have a few levers on an economic and financial level, since it is the backbone of everything to move forward. We got it as part of the recovery plan, which is still taking place in 2022. The recovery plan, which, for example, had planned a media plan for the press with a fairly significant amount of support for the press’s ecological transition and all the issues facing the press - inks, paper, packaging plastic - .
The recovery plan also made it possible, through the Investments for the Future program, AIP number 4, to launch a call for projects that we called Green Alternatives, with ten million euros. Out of this €10 million, we were able to support a number of initiatives, such as the Opéra de Lyon-Opéra de Paris, two institutions that worked together on recycling sets. I could cite a lot of examples in all fields, there were about 20 projects that were awarded this call for applications.
We already had levers in the recovery plan, we will also have levers in the France 2030 plan. We will have to see how to articulate the mechanisms of this France 2030 plan with the five axes I have identified, and everything that will bring us back from the ground of our exchanges. We are working on that.
So it’s a pretty tough menu, but thanks to all of you and your commitment, I’m sure we can get there, with some fairly structuring phases in the coming months, without too much delay, and that we can achieve this without losing sight of our goal of reaching the widest and most diverse audiences, because it must not be at the expense of the public. Nor should it be to the detriment of France’s place in the world, of our cultural voice on the digital world, as well as outside our borders, through touring. These are all complicated issues, because we have to reconcile several objectives and priorities, and we realize that this is not always obvious.
Me, I will be interested, with you, in gathering together good experience practices that allow us to think this energy sobriety in a joyful way. Because I hear a lot, with these terms of sobriety and the end of abundance, a somewhat tragic vision. I think that we, the cultural actors, with the creativity of artists and their energy and enthusiasm, can make this a positive challenge and a positive adventure for all citizens.
So sobriety, yes, but happy sobriety. Moreover, I see that the Pompidou Centre for its 2019 carbon footprint has chosen a magnificent work by Robert DELAUNAY, Soleil, forme circulaire. It is already colors, joy, sun and circularity.
Let us try to approach this subject, not with the weight of the tragic but from the most creative and happy angle possible. I know it’s not always easy, but I think that with the imagination of artists, with the imagination of the actors on the ground that you are, with the communities that we accompany and that accompany us, we can invent stories locally, projects, experiences that will, afterwards, become a school, and on a larger scale, develop.
I think we really need to do this work in two directions, both from the top down, bringing down councils, standards that will be discussed at the European level, and from the bottom up, bringing up inspirational experiences that come from the ground. I’m counting on you too.
Thank you very much.