In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the regional COP turns into a duel between Christophe Béchu and Laurent Wauquiez

The seventh edition of the territorial COPs, Thursday December 21, in Lyon, turned into a duel between Christophe Béchu and Laurent Wauquiez (Les Républicains), over the zero net artificialization (ZAN) system

In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, the regional COP turns into a duel between Christophe Béchu and Laurent Wauquiez

The seventh edition of the territorial COPs, Thursday December 21, in Lyon, turned into a duel between Christophe Béchu and Laurent Wauquiez (Les Républicains), over the zero net artificialization (ZAN) system. The latter, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, continued to denigrate the land urbanization compensation measures, provided for in the Climate and Resilience law, passed in 2021.

The elected official used rather crude terms, speaking of a “bureaucratic gas factory”. Without however confirming that he was considering leaving the legal system. This imperceptible decline gave the Minister of Ecological Transition the opportunity to score a point. “Everywhere we go, we are able to find solutions in the current text,” replied Christophe Béchu. Convinced of the educational effectiveness of his regional tours, the minister clearly does not intend to go back.

Laurent Wauquiez is still trying to force the executive to bend. The president of the second economic and demographic region of France had announced that he would not apply the law, while the regions are called upon to implement it. Among their powers, the regions must include the ZAN in the regional plan for planning, development and territorial equality. Mr. Wauquiez denounced a “ruralicide law” during the congress of the Association of Rural Mayors of France, on September 30, in Alpe-d’Huez (Isère).

“A text that threatens the industrial renaissance”

The regional president takes the regional COP to deliver his vision of an ecology that is neither ideological nor administrative, mainly through technological progress. He says he is convinced that the ecological transition requires above all the relocation of industry, to avoid the induced importation of CO2. “This will require land,” he adds, criticizing a “text that threatens industrial renaissance.”

“While we’re doing that, we’re not taking care of the rest; and the rest is Chinese imports. We are going to take care of these grotesque things with standards in every sense, but we are not going to take care of the containers which arrive entirely in our ports with Chinese production which does not respect any environmental standards,” declares Mr. Wauquiez.

The day before the arrival of the Minister for Ecological Transition in Lyon, the president of the region ratchets up the pressure. After several weeks of intense recovery campaign, he prides himself on having gathered two thousand signatures from elected officials, mayors, but also parliamentarians, departmental and regional councilors, to accompany his on the letter he sent to the Prime Minister . This letter calls on the government to “rethink the implementation of the ZAN law which would reinforce the divides and imbalances between metropolises and rural areas. »