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The Communauté de communes of the CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC valley (F),
4 municipalities helping the climate

Presentation of the national context: the French territorial ‘Plans Climat
Energie’ (Climate Energy Plans)

In France, these action plans enable the municipalities to implement an integrated and planed climate policy at the territorial level. The plans comprise two elements: they should first integrate the climate issue in all decisions taken by the municipalities; they should second contribute to adapting their territory to the foreseeable consequences of climate change.

The Climate Plan in the Chamonix Valley
The local context

The local environment of the Chamonix Valley is particularly fragile. Climate
change is obvious, especially through the melting of glaciers, which is visible
to the naked eye and confirmed by scientific data. Meteorologists have proved
that the annual average temperature in Chamonix has increased by 1,5°C in
less than a century, that means twice as fast as the average recorded
worldwide (+0,8°C).
Faced with these assessments, the representatives of the Chamonix Valley
(municipalities of Chamonix, Les Houches, Servoz and Vallorcine) have chosen
to mobilise people to concerted action. After implementing an ambitious
transportation policy with the voluntary adoption of an urban mobility plan in
2007, in 2009 they engaged the municipality in the broader elaboration of a
territorial Climate Energy Plan.
The first mountain-ski resort to take up the challenge, the Communauté de
Communes of the Chamonix Valley-Mont-Blanc aspires to develop an
exemplary approach in order to respect the objectives of the Covenant of
that Chamonix signed in April 2010.

Presentation of the municipality’s plan in response to climate change
(mitigation and adaptation)

The approach of the Communauté de communes of the Chamonix Valley-
Mont-Blanc includes two phases:

  1. Diagnosis of greenhouses gases (GHS) will be conducted by the end of
    2010-early 2011 in order to identify the larger emission elements.
  2. Public consultation to define concrete solutions. It will be organised
    around four main sectors :
    - transportation and mobility
    - city planning and housing
    - consumption and waste management
    - Awareness and tourism

Financed from European (FEDER) and national (CG74, ADEME) sources, this
shared diagnosis should lead to a collective work including all the local actors
of the territorial Climate Energy Plan of the Communauté de communes of the
Chamonix Valley-Mont-Blanc at the end of 2011.

Sectors concerned within the Climate Action Plan of the Alpine

Mitigation strategies

  • Development of renewable energies: development of the wood-
    energy industry, construction of collective wood-boilers, project of a
    photovoltaic farm, study of a micro-hydroelectric potential in progress.
  • Fields of Spatial and Land Planning
    • Funding for renewable energies in Chamonix and in Les Houches,
    • Bonus of a 20 percent reduction in ground rates for energy
      efficient buildings in Chamonix and Les Houches,
    • Exemption from ad valorem tax on buildings (Taxe Foncière sur
      les Propriétés Bâties, TFPB) for all renovation of buildings meeting
      energy performance criteria in Les Houches.
    • Integration of mitigation objectives in planning documents.
  • Transportation
    • Voluntary policy in favour of public transportation, development of
      an urban mobility plan, more buses and trains, more routes
      adapted to inhabitants needs, creation of cross-borders bus
      routes, development of a « tram-train » (1 train every 30mn)
      to be in operation by the end of 2013.
    • Implementation of a soft mobility plan in progress
    • Project in progress to provide each bus with a bicycle rack to
      encourage intermodality.
  • Waste management: waste sorting, composting stimulation,
    awareness of inhabitants and tourists.

Adaptation strategy

  • Natural hazards: monitoring programme on the evolution of natural
    hazards, especially those linked to climate change (Risknat)
  • Preservation of biodiversity: creation of a forest charter aimed at the
    sustainable management of forests; three natural reserves in the
    Valley; hosting and organisation of a national conference on biodiversity
    in 2010; progress towards ‘green spaces’ that provide ecological
  • Tourism: development of an “exemplary eco-tourism valley” project
    adapting the tourism sector of the local economy to the challenges of
    climate change. Financed from European (FEDER) and national (Region
    and State) sources, this huge project aims to assist tourism actors in
    adapting to the long-term behavioural change needed in tourism:
    certification of tourism organisations, development of eco-responsibility
    events, and creation of new eco-touristic products.
  • Future and evolution
    In December 2011: the action plan of the Energy Climate Plan will be
    validated and presented to the local population. It should enable the territory
    and all its actors to respect the European commitments: 3X20 in 2020.