Unknown a few weeks ago, the Last Renovation collective is starting to get people talking. On Tuesday July 12, during the 10th stage of the Tour de France, a dozen movement activists sat down on the road to protest against global warming, interrupting the race for almost a quarter of an hour.
A huge spotlight for this collective which is not at its first attempt. In recent weeks, activists have multiplied spectacular civil disobedience actions to warn of the urgency of energy renovation of housing, a key link in the fight against climate change according to them. What is this collective? What are its demands? Who are its supporters? 20 minutes takes stock of this very young movement.
The Last Renovation collective, what is it?
Created in February 2022 by around twenty people, mostly young people aged 20 to 30, this ecological collective, which now brings together around a hundred activists, is calling for action in favor of the climate, in particular a vast energy renovation of housing. For the movement, the urgency is “that the government immediately commit to ensuring the comprehensive and efficient renovation of the French housing stock by 2040”, can we read on the collective’s website.
The group is part of an “international movement of civil resistance”, called A22, at the initiative of “the summer of sports disruption”, a campaign intended to disrupt sports competitions in ten countries. “Some of the countries are asking for energy renovation, but some have other demands,” explains Florence, a 57-year-old activist, citing Canada, where activists are calling for an end to deforestation. “It shows that all the populations of the world are worried about global warming”, continues this doctor who participated in the launch of Last Renovation.
Why did the movement focus on energy renovation?
For the collective, energy renovation is one of the “concrete, winnable and accessible” solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as Florence explains. And for good reason, 20% of emissions come from the residential or tertiary sector in France, which has more than 5 million thermal sieves. However, the global and efficient renovation of the French housing stock was one of the proposals of the Citizen’s Convention for the Climate. “It would take 700,000 renovated homes per year for that to have an impact on emissions. Currently, we are at 60,000. It’s dramatic, ”regrets the activist.
An ecological emergency, but also a social one. In France, nearly 12 million people live in energy poverty, explains the collective on its site, which calls for “a simple and progressive financing system taking charge of all the work for the most modest owners”.
How does the collective hope to be heard?
Like Extinction Rebellion, another international environmental social movement, the Last Renovation collective is betting on “disturbing actions of civil disobedience that force the government and deputies not to look away, but to take action “Florence continues.
Since April, activists have repeatedly blocked traffic on the Paris ring road and on the A13 motorway. At the beginning of June, one of the members of the collective, Alizée, had interrupted the Roland-Garros final by attaching herself to the net. The 22-year-old wore a T-shirt with the inscription “We have 1,028 days left”. A reference to the three-year period estimated according to IPCC experts to reverse the climate trend. On July 17, activists again tried to block the Tour de France, during the 15th stage between Rodez and Carcasonne. The forces having intervened very quickly, only two riders were briefly slowed down.
If sporting events are targeted by activists, it is above all for reasons of visibility. “These are media meetings, the whole world has its eyes riveted on Roland-Garros and the Tour de France. It’s a huge showcase, ”explains Florence. If the athletes are not targeted personally, the latter must also feel concerned: “In the world that awaits us. These events can no longer take place. With the temperatures of the last few days, it was already complicated for the cyclists of the Tour de France to run in conditions that do not endanger their health, ”warns the activist. “We will continue our actions as long as we have not had a concrete energy renovation project”, she concludes.