Target: Francois Hollande, President of France
Goal: Applaud environmentalism through the creation of green roofs.
Becoming more environmentally friendly is a top priority for many nations. Currently, France has taken a progressive step towards ensuring that it reduces its carbon footprint through the creation of green roofs. New legislation that has just passed will require that all upcoming commercial construction projects to feature green roofs (i.e. green spaces) or solar panels above the building’s top floor.
A green roof, otherwise known as a plant-scape, is a lush area filled with plant life intended to mimic a greenhouse of sorts. Green roofs can be public or private and their perks extend beyond the obvious aesthetic. Green roofs help insulate buildings, which in turn reduce seasonal energy costs by as much as 25 percent, help to reduce water runoff during rainstorms, combat air pollution and can even be a source of food if the building is residential. Also, green roofs provide comfortable homes for wildlife, especially birds, which tend to be displaced by the sprawling urban development. Green roofs also combat the ‘heat island’ effect’: when cities become hotter than surrounding areas.
Green spaces in urban places have become a huge trend amongst metropolitan areas since concern surrounding carbon footprints and global warming arose in recent years. Countless cities across the globe have incorporated solar panels and green roofs into their environmentalist agenda; however, no nation has come close to the undertaking that France has created for itself. All new commercial buildings in coming years will be mandated to outfit their roofs with green spaces, which could cut down on the country’s emissions and dependency on nuclear power, which currently provides almost 80 percent of its power.
To get the law to pass through the country’s parliament, environmentalists lobbied tirelessly, originally calling for every building in the nation to incorporate green roofs and solar panels. Despite pleas from environmental activists, the law does not apply to rooftops and businesses outside of commercial zones. However, the benefits of this first progressive step far outweigh the shortcomings of the initial legislation, as the country strives to consume 25 percent less energy and emit 25 percent less emissions by 2020.
Following in the footsteps of other cities, like Toronto, which has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs by implementing a similar plan just five years ago, France has proven that with a little bit of vision and focused concern, big changes are possible to save our planet. Sign the petition to thank France’s president, Francois Hollande, for supporting a healthier planet and being a role model for national environmentalism.
Dear President Hollande,
It has recently come to my attention that France will be implementing groundbreaking, environmentally-conscious legislation in the near future, which would require commercial buildings to feature green spaces and be outfitted with solar panels. The damaging effects of urban development on wildlife and the overall environment are staggering. From air pollution to unnatural shifts in temperature during seasons, global warming and energy crises are upon us.
Statistics show that green roofs and solar panels can reduce seasonal energy costs by as much as 25 percent, reduce water runoff during rainstorms, combat air pollution and provide food for buildings that are residential. Also, green roofs make great homes for wildlife, especially birds, which are often displaced during urban development.
Following the path of other cities, like Toronto, which implemented similar legislation five years ago and saved hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs, France is poised to become the next healthiest nation to live in and the lives of its residents will greatly improve. As an environmentalist and environmental activist, I applaud your decision to pass legislation that will ultimately benefit your nation and the entire planet in the coming years.
Thank you for taking a proactive step towards becoming more environmentally friendly and reducing your carbon footprint.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: CC-by-2.o via Wikimedia Commons