Light fading: when the economy goes hand in hand with the environment

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In light of the international context and its economic impact on rising energy prices, Xavier Bigot, Ingrid Julien, Joël Munch and Lucie Arderiou, members of the Society of Citizens of Carcassonne, Environmental and Social (CCES), bring the topic of light to the municipality’s attention. extinction.

“Two reasons motivate our intervention”launches Xavier Bigot in the introduction. “Firsthe said, concerns the international context, in particular the war in Ukraine, which causes an undeniable increase in the cost of energy.”. Second, he continues, “Regarding an article published in L’Indépendant regarding the responses formulated by the city authorities to the cessation of light, which raises the security argument”.

Ingrid Julien confirms this: “Today, the city of Carcassonne spends about 470,000 euros on street lighting. Significant budget”she judges. “And this rating will continue to rise because the cost of energy continues to rise”. So, faced with rising prices, the municipality is trying to adapt and street lighting is indeed one of the areas to be explored. Corn, “For security reasons, we have not yet gone on to turn off entire blocks.– admitted in our columns on February 22, Ann Garust from the city hall. “But safety is not an argument”Xavier Bigot answers. “Especially since there are no serious studies regarding the safety and attenuation of light on a national scale, since this has always been the responsibility of the municipalities.”adds Joel Munch, board member of the CCES association. “The National Observatory of Crime estimates 80% of thefts, burglaries, transactions and assaults during the day” she assures. And add that “According to available research, Star Cities and Villages communes experience no more crime than others.”. For Xavier Bigot, even the opposite effect can occur: “As for cars, for example, turning off the headlights is accompanied by a decrease in the speed of motorists. On the one hand, there are fewer accidents and they are less serious. This could be done, for example, on the boulevards of Carcassonne, on the entire strip”.

Save for the community

Ingrid Julien highlights one fact: “Cities like Carcassonne that enforced a 23:00 to 06:00 extinction saw 50% savings. Then they can be re-introduced from the first year into new ones that are less suitable for the current policy (LED, voltage drop). , etc.)”.

“We can implement these projects with neighbor associations. Thus, the money saved can be reinvested in said association, which will allow it to implement a civil project. In fact, we can get everything from it.”she confidently says: “All this should happen and be built collectively, including by the citizens themselves”.

While conserving biodiversity

Unlike security, “Research exists and unequivocally shows that the immutability of day and night disturbs all living things. On the one hand, us, as well as animals, insects and plants.continues Ingrid Julien. “Several towns and villages are pursuing this policy. This is significant, we are celebrating the return of birds, butterflies, foraging insects.”

For Lucy Arderiou, CCES board member, “Glowworms are a sad example of this problem. The female luminesces to attract the male. But because of the night light, the latter no longer attract females. As a result, after a few decades they disappear.”she laments.

Extinguishing the light, carried out methodologically, reasonably, in agreement with citizens, allows, “In addition to the negligible energy savings, the improvement of biodiversity, well-being as well as the dynamics of citizens”explain. “This is the starting point, creating a beautiful dynamic”. “Many municipalities, including those in Roulland, Villallier, as well as in Ariège or Dordogne, have introduced dimming. That’s quite possible”.concludes Xavier Bigot.

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