Asking the question of the success of sobriety plans invites us to question the political and social conditions for their implementation: starting with the notions of solidarity and equity, which are essential for a fair transition: what levers and issues should be used to reconcile sobriety and solidarity and to organize a sharing of efforts that is perceived as fair and acceptable? Which public policy levers should be mobilized as a priority? 

Key Messages

  • Taking the equity imperative seriously is more than ever a critical dimension of the transition. Opinion polls show that it is an essential condition for the implementation and support of changes in our lifestyles. This is all the more important as the need to act quickly and strongly in the face of the crisis requires a high level of endorsement of the measures implemented.
  • The notion of equity is a blind spot to be overcome: the shield put in place follows an approach based on equality for all, at the risk of being socially unfair and financially costly; our current energy pricing tools cannot reconcile sobriety and equity through progressive pricing; and the rhetoric of transition does not assume to ask more of those who have the most means and room to maneuver.
  • Taking into account the principle of solidarity requires a change in political discourse, action through symbolic measures and a particular effort of exemplarity and accountability during this period of crisis.
  • The tariff shield could be better adjusted to target those who need it most. At the same time, the crisis is an opportunity to resume work on defining a simplified progressive pricing system that reconciles the notion of energy as a primary need with that of a strong and visible price signal.
  • Beyond sobriety, showing a real change of gear to ensure resilience requires strong and visible action to accelerate the transition, particularly through energy renovation. It is a way to demonstrate the determination to act for equity in the transition, i.e. to help to be resilient in order to move away from the logic of aid.
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