Parliament adopts text to reduce the impact of digital technology on the environment

As world leaders gathered in Glasgow for COP26, Parliament adopted definitively, Tuesday, November 2, by a final vote of the Senate, a bill aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of digital technology and making France a pioneering country in this field.

This consensual text, worn by Senator LR Patrick Chaize, includes many measures aimed in particular at supporting the recycling and reuse of digital devices (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) to reduce their impact on the environment.

According to the work of a senatorial information mission, if nothing is done, digital technology would by 2040 be the source of 24 million tonnes of carbon equivalent, or around 7% of greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse in France, compared to 2% today. Smartphones, tablets and computers are believed to be responsible for nearly 70% of the digital impact.

The text modified by the deputies does not fully satisfy the senators. But they resigned themselves to vote it ” according “, by show of hands, so as not to delay the entry into force of “Advanced” that he introduces into a domain that is still “A blind spot” environmental policy.

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Exemption for abandoned used equipment

The most important point of disagreement relates to the private copying levy (PCR). Created in 1985, this contribution is levied on recording media – blank CDs and DVDs, memories and hard drives for computers, phones or tablets – to compensate for the loss suffered by artists due to the possibility of copying their material. works.

To promote re-employment, the senators wanted to exempt second-hand equipment from the contribution. The reconditioning sector represented 15% of telephone sales in France in 2020. Faced with the outcry in the cultural world, but to the chagrin of the reconditioning industry, the government and the National Assembly have removed this exemption.

” Such a waste ! “exclaimed Mr. Chaize, judging this decision contrary to the very objective of the bill. “What a bad message to want to tax what you want to encourage”, added Didier Mandelli (LR).

Ecologist Jacques Fernique asked for “Vigorous support measures for the reconditioned”. “The absence of concrete actions by the government is experienced as a real betrayal by the 5,000 employees in the sector”, said in a statement the Federation of Reemployment and the professional union Sirrmiet.

The text provides that second-hand equipment will be subject to the “Remuneration for private copying”, at a rate “Specific and differentiated” compared to new devices, taking into account in particular their age. Companies in the social and solidarity sector specializing in this repackaging will be exempt.

An observatory to measure the impact of digital technology

The text also proposes the creation of a “Observatory of the environmental impacts of digital technology”, in order to establish more precise data on this complex issue. Because if they are energy-intensive and subject to rapid renewal, digital devices also make it possible to replace trips that generate even more CO.2.

It provides awareness training on the environmental impact of digital technology and the “Digital sobriety” in primary and secondary.

It promotes data centers and networks that consume less electricity and strengthens the fight against planned obsolescence, extending it to software.

Among the measures introduced by MEPs: the establishment of digital equipment collection operations accompanied by a return bonus and the abolition of the obligation to provide headphones when selling mobile phones.

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The World with AFP

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Parliament adopts text to reduce the impact of digital technology on the environment