French MP: ‘We try to bring method to the madness of building renovation’

(EurActiv, 15 Oct 2019) The “Yellow Vest” movement has actually boosted the France’s ambition to be a building renovation champion as it positioned the economy front and centre in the debate, the government’s ‘co-pilot’ for the project told EURACTIV.

Marjolaine Meynier-Millefert is a member of French Parliament with La République En Marche! She represents the French National Assembly to the Higher Council for Building and Energy Efficiency.

She spoke to EURACTIV’s Sam Morgan.

Do you spend a lot of time in Brussels?

I try to go as much as possible and I’m trying to go more and more, as I’m absolutely convinced that every European country has already experimented and tried things that will save us time in what we’re doing. We’re all trying to reinvent things that have already been done elsewhere. If something works, we can find out why, but also if something doesn’t work, that is knowledge that can be shared.

France is a very diverse country in terms of geography, climate, economic situation and so on. Does that make it an ideal testing ground and a leader for renovations in that case?

It’s true that we have all sorts of problems ourselves. Renovating in the mountains is very different to urban and seaside renovations. All sorts of factors you would not have expected and plenty to experiment on. Actually, maybe we are experimenting too much because so many schemes are being tested and it is so difficult to share information. Setting up a comprehensive database that can be used and reproduced is proving to be complex.

Communication seems to be a problem. Do platforms and instruments like the European Energy Poverty Observatory provide a potential model?

I don’t think we need yet another new instrument, maybe we’ve got enough being created every year. I rather think it is a matter of how we think out our projects and integrating this issue into the things that simply have to be done. Launching an experiment, reflecting on the results of the experiment and then coming up with conclusions on it, is a process that is not in the culture of innovation yet.

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EurActiv, 15 Oct 2019: French MP: ‘We try to bring method to the madness of building renovation’