Julie is one of the 150 citizens randomly selected to participate in the Citizen Convention for the Climate. She tells us anonymously about this experience, but also about the changes it has brought about for her and her family.
The Convention started with a citizens' draw. Julie was selected and then contacted by phone to be offered a mission: to take part in the Citizens' Climate Convention. "When we are approached like this by phone, we ask ourselves, everything goes very fast! ». It was so quick for Julie that she hung up without saying a word. She thought she was dealing with phoney canvassers. As she put the handset down and talked to her husband about the call, he answered with a touch of humour that she had rejected the proposal of a real event created by the President of the Republic. A little stunned, Julie checks the number and the validity of the agreement. She decided to contact the number again, asked for more information, and finally accepted: "I had the support of my husband, the support of my children, and for me it was important. Maybe at first it wasn't a subject that animated me and that I didn't pay attention to on a daily basis, but I thought this was an opportunity to find out more. »
Another important point for Julie: participatory democracy, which she described as "the will to create together a project for ecology, with 150 very different people but all citizens".
Why have a Citizen's Convention for the Climate?
The Citizen's Climate Convention (CCC) is an unprecedented experience in France: 150 citizens, all drawn at random and united around the subject of ecology. The citizens have been enlightened, have received information and content. They were divided into working groups. For six months, from October 2019 to June 2020, citizens reflected on these issues during seven working sessions of three days each.
The objective of this convention is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. This will be achieved through legislative proposals that will be studied by the government.
Greenhouse gases are increasingly dangerous, particularly because of the footprint left by mankind. The government dares to say "men" so that everyone feels guilty, the reality is that the major greenhouse gas emissions come from large sectors: energy production (not renewable), transport (road, air), agriculture and industry.
How did the Citizen's Climate Convention work?
The groupings took place at the Palais d'Iéna in Paris, in a very parliamentary setting. As soon as she arrived, Julie felt the importance given to her mission and her role in the convention.
During the first weekend, experts in biology, economics and climate were present to present the current state of the world. This made it possible to enlighten citizens on the importance of this mission. At the end of the weekend, the citizens were once again drawn by lot to be divided into working groups around different themes: travel, consumption, housing, food, production and work. Julie was chosen, along with 29 other people, to work on the theme of "feeding oneself".
Together, we look back on this beautiful experience she lived...
Camille: You, who were not necessarily sensitive to ecology: to reflect on this subject, what does it tell you as a mother and as a consumer?
Julie: I immediately felt invested in the theme of " feeding oneself ", since it's part of my daily life as a mother: there are five of us at home! This theme has been a problem in our family since my husband had health problems that forced us to rethink the way we eat. He was the one who took the first steps! It has always made me laugh: not drinking cow's milk, eating seeds, stopping eating industrial cakes ... This diversification made me laugh, then little by little we got a taste for it. There is also what I heard at home. My children used to talk to me about school canteens and that made me wonder... This convention made me curious. It pushed me to go and see what was happening on my territory, in my municipality and in the schools ... because today, everything we have done is not working. When we discussed this at the Convention, as a citizen I understood why the questions were being asked of us. We are the first ones affected and concerned.
Camille: Among the ten or so objectives selected for the theme "Feeding oneself", was there one that struck you?
Julie : The question of pesticides. Not knowing what we eat raises questions for all of us... As far as labelling is concerned, nothing is very clear. There are still a lot of processed products, and even those labelled bio are not 100% organic. There is also the difficulty of talking about it, because it is a sensitive subject in the agricultural world. It's all a question of policy, especially with the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) which manages trade between countries. We are no longer masters of what happens and what happens at home. We have also asked ourselves a lot of questions about advertising: we condemn and want to reduce this excessive advertising for big brands that incite us to consume sugar, fatty and bad products. People need to understand... The one who will make the most difference is the one who consumes. If we say no or do something else, I think everything can change. We have a greater weight all together, simply in our daily gestures.
Camille: And now that the VCC is over, what happens?
Julie: This convention required a lot of time and investment. Some people continued and an association was set up to pursue the project, but sometimes you have to be in tune with subjects and I wasn't following. Today it's over for me. I've done my part and I'm back with my family. I wanted to live the convention simply, as a normal citizen, and today I also want to pass on all this, simply. I am more into the simplicity of ecological gestures rather than wanting to appropriate a dynamic. Except that we must not hide the fact that we are at this point today and we must move forward.
Camille: As a Christian woman, how did it feel to take part in the VCC? Is there a place for faith in all this?
Julie: I took part in this convention thanks to the love of my family, their support reassured me. It was quite restrictive and they let me go. The love of the Lord is there, in the support of my family. There is a little star up there that perhaps also missioned me to be part of all this. I was surprised that it fell on me. I said to myself, "Why not Eric, my husband, he's much more knowledgeable and sensitive on this subject? Why me?". But today I am proud of what I did. A colleague, talking about a "Can you be Catholic and green" evening that you had organised, said to me "Well, you are living proof of that, green and Catholic! ». It made me laugh a lot! It's true that I was called by faith not long ago. I was recently confirmed ... The Holy Spirit pushed and carried me to accomplish this mission. That's how I felt. I don't pretend to say that I am very green, but I do my best! I thank the Lord who sometimes gives me the strength to cook, to garden, to move... Because it's not easy every day and there are plenty of opportunities to let go. I also thank Him for the exchanges and encounters, because beautiful things are born. Perhaps I didn't see them before, and today I see things differently. Oh yes, for all that, I thank the Lord!