Jérôme Galland


Greenhouse gas emissions related to human activities – oil and gas combustion, intensive agriculture, deforestation – have been escalating with dramatic consequences.
The average temperature has increased by 0.85°C since the first weather records in 1880. Since 1850, every decade is warmer than the previous one.


Climate changes have been affecting every region of the planet: increase in the number of heatwaves, heavy rains, floods and droughts; reduction of subsoil fresh water reserves and river flow rates; more limited access to drinking water leading to the massive displacement of the population.

In the upcoming years, if nothing changes, they will also result in the development of tropical diseases in Europe and in North America, and the emergence of pests and invasive species which are harmful to agricultural systems.

The 1999 windstorm, the 2003 heatwave, cyclone Xynthia in 2010, the floods in Brittany in 2014: the phenomena observed in France are likely to escalate and occur more frequently in the 21st century.


Experts agree that many of the adverse consequences of climate change could be avoided if the increase does not exceed 2 °C.
But even if this ambitious target is reached, impacts would be felt, hence the necessity to reduce emissions and also adapt to the unavoidable consequences of change: avoiding the unmanageable … and managing the inevitable.


  • + 0.8°C is the average increase in temperatures recorded since 1880.
  • + 2°C compared to 1880 is the maximum threshold which is acceptable in terms of temperature increase.
  • 40% is the minimum reduction of emissions to be achieved by 2050 in order to remain beneath the + 2°C threshold.
  • + 4.8 °C is the average temperature increase by 2100 without any effective climate policy.
  • 1 meter is the elevation of average sea levels which is expected by 2100 without any effective climate policy, which would deprive 400 million people of their habitat. Over half of the world’s 20 largest cities in Asia and in North America are coastal.
  • 30% is the percentage of biodiversity that could be lost by 2100 if the current pace of emissions continues: global warming would deprive a third of the living species of an environment which is adapted to their survival.
  • In France, the main sectors which are responsible for emissions are transport (28%), agriculture (20%), industry (18%), habitat (14%)


  • Forests ensure the regulation of climatic phenomena

They store carbon in their biomass, and thereby limit its concentration in the atmosphere. Deforestation accounts for 25% of human greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the amount produced in the global transport sector. It is one of the major causes of climate change

  • Forests are biodiversity reservoirs

They are the habitat of 50% of animal and plant species. The fragmentation and destruction of forest ecosystems are therefore a major cause of the erosion of biodiversity, which is essential to the maintenance of life

  • Forests help to properly maintain the water cycle

Thanks to their canopy cover, they limit stormwater runoff, a factor of soil depletion.

  • Forests help human societies

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.6 billion people make their livelihood from forests – nearly 25% of the world’s population! -, and 60 million people depend entirely on forests for their survival. In developing countries, 80 % of the population depends on forest resources for their basic nutritional and health needs.

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