War, fire, drought… 2022 will have spared us nothing. Even so, amid political crisis and climate chaos, ecology scored. Victorious struggles, ambitious measures, militant renewal… To end the year in style, news reporter details nine good news, to slide under the tree.
1 — The Gardens of Aubervilliers saved
- Joy of activists in March 2022: the administrative court of appeal of Paris ordered the municipality of Aubervilliers to stop work and reimburse 2,000 euros in court costs. © Emmanuel Clévenot / Reporterre
Zucchini instead of athletes. The news broke on March 14: the city of Aubervilliers, in Seine-Saint-Denis, has given up on building the extension of the swimming pool, which was supposed to serve as a training site for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. on nineteen garden plots. i.e. 4000mtwo of vegetation, green scenery in this highly urbanized area.
It is the result of two years of struggle waged with determination by the residents and users of the gardens. The gardens were occupied – then evicted – the site blocked, appeals filed in court. Finally, in early March, the Court of Appeal suspended work. Too late for the land, plundered by diggers. But the mayor’s office pledged to 🇧🇷 to repair 🇧🇷🇧🇷
This autumn, new legal success: the eight activists accused of obstructing public works were released.
2 — The fights are organized
- At the Zadenvies festival, in the Notre-Dame-des-Landes zad, local struggle activists from all over France gathered to think about common strategies. © Théophile Pouillot-Chévara / Reporterre
Unity is strength. And the struggling groups understood that. In 2022, meetings, coordination and other national convergences multiplied. This is, in particular, the objective of Terre de Lutte, an association launched to create synergies between collectives. 🇧🇷 We must ensure that these struggles are not isolated to the local level, because almost all of them touch on national politics and issues. 🇧🇷explained to us Victor Vauquois.
Message received. As of March, more than forty organizations have participated in the National Meeting of Forest Struggles in the Hautes-Pyrenees. The challenge: organize to fight against the industrialization of forests. Then, in April, the first national meetings of popular gardens in struggle were held in Besançon. In May, dozens of collectives gathered in Montpellier to lay the foundations of a coalition against road projects. This summer, the meeting took place at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Finally, in October, opponents of factory farms met in Brittany.
In addition to these moments of encounter, bonds were forged in days of joint action, such as in April, the day after Emmanuel Macron was re-elected. And especially during 🇧🇷 manifest’ actions 🇧🇷 against the Deux-Sèvres mega-basins. until victory🇧🇷
3 — Amazon pulls back
- Local activists, in the Petit-Couronne industrial zone near Rouen, aim to bring the e-commerce giant to its knees. © Noman Cadoret / Reporterre
A brake on the Amazon empire in France. At the end of March, the company announced that it was giving up its warehouse near Rouen. A victory for the Norman opponents, worried about the overconsumption reinforced by the Amazon model, the disappearance of local commerce and the pollution caused by over 2,200 vehicles dumped on the roads every day.
A few days later, something else happened: the court canceled the construction permit for a warehouse near Belfort. In all, five projects by the e-commerce giant were abandoned in two years. But the multinational does not give up and seeks other fields.
Amazon also faced the first major strikes and social movements: in France, more than 1,000 employees walked out of work in early April to get a pay raise.
4 — Darblay Chapel stationery is assumed
- Three workers at La Chapelle Darblay, one of the last in France to produce 100 units of paper % recycled. © Noman Cadoret/Reporter
In May, the metropolis of Rouen bought the Chapelle Darblay factory in Grand-Couronne. For several years, employees fought for the survival of the last French factory capable of making newsprint and packaging 100 % recycled. This one had closed in 2020, after ninety years of newsprint manufacturing.
1,000 days of struggle to save this factory and the jobs of its 217 employees. A struggle led by workers, supported by environmentalists and unions, even in the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy.
5 — The return of the night train
- As of 2017, there are only two night lines left in France. Wikimedia / CC🇧🇷PER🇧🇷HER 4.0 / Florian Pepelin
Good news for quay lovers: the government has announced the relaunch of the night train linking Paris to Aurillac, in the Massif Central. This line, abandoned in 2003, is expected to reopen at the end of 2023. A first victory for user associations, who are waiting for the reopening of other lines.
In France, night trains go a long way. As of 2017, there are only two night lines left in France: Paris-Toulouse/Rodez-Albi/Latour-de-Carol and Paris-Briançon. Since then, the Paris-Cerbère-Port-Bou lines have been relaunched in 2017, Paris-Nice in 2021 and Paris-Tarbes-Lourdes in 2022, with an extension to Hendaye this summer.
Elsewhere in Europe, long-distance trains are reborn at high speed. 1 TGV the connection from Paris to Berlin is due to start at the end of 2023. On the other side of the Rhine, our neighbors have also tested – and approved – the single €9 ticket on public transport.
6 — Auspicious political changes in the world
- In Australia, the land of megafires, the Labor Party (centre-left) has regained power.
It wasn’t just in France that we voted this year. In Australia, the Labor Party (centre-left) regained power in May. Progressive candidate Anthony Albanese – the new prime minister – replaced climate skeptic Scott Morrison, whose inaction on climate change has been widely criticized by Australians.
After ten years of lethargy, Parliament passed its first climate law. In the United States, freed from Donald Trump, a great climate plan was also adopted: 369 billion dollars (363 billion euros) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 % by 2030.
In Colombia, Gustavo Petro became the first left-wing president in the country’s history, with his vice-president Francia Marquez, an Afro-Colombian leader and ecologist. In Brazil, Lula’s victory brought relief to advocates of environmental and social justice.
Unfortunately, other surveys sounded like defeats for ecology. Chileans thus rejected a new progressive, feminist, ecological and social Constitution. In Italy, the climate-killing extreme right has come to power.
7 — Soups, canoes, tools: the new instruments of the ecological struggle
- Action by Revolts of the Earth in front of a cement site in Gennevilliers, 29 June. © NnoMan Cadoret/Reporter
After two years at a standstill due to the health crisis, the green movement is back in force – and with new ideas. New forms of occupation or blockade (re)appeared. In June, arborist-climber Thomas Brail perched on one of the plane trees near the Eiffel Tower to successfully prevent its toppling. In Marseille, activists blocked cruise ships… in canoes. to the oars citizens 🇧🇷
The Last Renovation collective has stopped sporting events such as the Roland-Garros tournament or the Tour de France to demand a massive housing renovation plan. Across Europe, activists doused soup, crushed tar and other liquids on works of art – without damaging them: these high profile actions have not failed to spark debate.
Finally, the year 2022 marked the return of sabotage. tires of SUV empty and clogged golf courses, uncovered basins. 🇧🇷 We tend more and more towards an ecology of conflict 🇧🇷observes the sociologist Manuel Cervera-Marzal, who sees in the current development of sabotage 🇧🇷 a renewed form of civil disobedience 🇧🇷🇧🇷
8 – The Abandoned Golden Mountain
- People gathered to symbolically bury the Montagne d’Or mining project in June 2019, in Cayenne (Guyana). © Hélène Ferrarini/Reporter
Palms end to the Golden Mountain in Guyana. The Constitutional Council and then the Council of State, in turn, buried this mining project, which was intended to exploit 80 tons of gold by digging a 2.5-kilometre-long shaft and using cyanidation in the Guiana forest, in the immediate vicinity of a biological reserve.
The judges opened the legal way to end the mining concessions. Now task the government with permanently stopping Golden Mountain. Guyana’s gold rush has decimated local wildlife, scientists have warned.
9 — France withdraws from the energy treaty
Emmanuel Macron announced in late October that France would withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (TEC🇧🇷 That text, which came into force in 1998, allows companies to sue countries that modify their energy policy if they believe that this threatens their financial interests. It is currently signed by fifty-two countries.
Spain, Poland and the Netherlands had previously announced their desire to withdraw from the treaty. Germany also followed suit. The treaty, therefore, has some advantage on the wing, and that is a good thing.
The treaty, however, contains a clause that provides that any country that withdraws remains subject to litigation for twenty years. Unless the Member States ofHUH decide to leave the treaty altogether, and not apply this clause. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to reach an agreement.