French mayors get right to veto wind turbine projects
Senators adopted an amendment Friday (18 June) giving municipalities the right to veto a wind turbine project as part of the currently debated Climate and Resilience Law. EURACTIV France reports:
Following a stormy debate, senators voted in favour of mayors obtaining the right to veto wind farm projects with the aim of promoting “social acceptability of wind farms, with a view to ensuring harmonious development, i.e. more in tune with the territories and their inhabitants”.
According to conservative Les Républicains senator Etienne Blanc, light pollution, noise pollution, protection of biodiversity and impact on bird migration corridors are all criteria to be taken into account before launching the construction of a wind farm.
“We had not sufficiently taken into account the recycling of the wind turbine itself, but also the recycling of the concrete,” Blanc said.
“It is a question of better establishing consultation and dialogue. Before the environmental authorisation is submitted, the file must be submitted to the municipality where the plant is to be installed and to its mayor,” added Blanc, who sits among the Senate’s right-wing majority.
The amendment provides for a one-month period during which mayors will be able to study the project, and possibly veto it. Speaking to his fellow senators, Blanc pointed out that his party was defending a “reinforced democracy”, with “more consultation” of local authorities when it comes to other facilities such as nuclear power.
“We cannot be in favour of consultation when it comes to nuclear power and against consultation when it comes to wind power,” he argued.