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“Decarbonize yes, trash no”: 500 demonstrators against a very high voltage line project in Arles

Sixty-five kilometers of very high voltage line straining in the Camargue and Provence.

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“Decarbonize yes, trash no”: 500 demonstrators against a very high voltage line project in Arles

Sixty-five kilometers of very high voltage line straining in the Camargue and Provence. Around 500 people demonstrated this Sunday in Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) against a very high voltage overhead power line project intended, according to its promoters, to decarbonize the industrial-port zone of Fos-sur-Mer, but whose The route and the modalities arouse opposition. The demonstration, which took place peacefully, brought together 500 people, according to the police.

“Decarbonize yes, trash no” or even “No to the THT line project” (very high voltage), could we read on the signs of demonstrators gathered in Arles, at the end of several weeks of prior consultation organized by RTE, the manager of the electricity transmission network.

RTE explains on its website that the new line, of approximately 65 km, between Fos-sur-Mer, near Marseille, and Jonquières-Saint-Vincent, in Gard, is planned “by 2028” to respond to a “very strong growth in electricity needs”. “We are very much in favor of decarbonizing our industry. We are not against the project, we are simply unfavorable to the route proposed to us,” the mayor of Arles, Patrick De Carolis, present at the demonstration, told AFP.

According to the elected official, economic, agricultural, heritage, but also environmental reasons explain the opposition to the project, the different routes of which pass either through the Camargue delta or through regions of Provence between Gard and Bouches-du-Rhône. “We benefit from a fairly remarkable territory and biodiversity,” he underlined, hoping that “technical solutions” could be proposed “so as not to impact our landscape, which is one of the essential factors of our economy ".

The project “harms biodiversity by fragmenting protected natural spaces which also serve to protect the climate, such as the Vigueirat marshes, important areas for birds, the Crau meadows”, for his part indicated Laurent Tatin , conservation biologist. He added that it was necessary to find “other solutions than this airline so as not to harm the protection of nature and agriculture”.

An online petition, launched by the “Agir pour la Crau” association, calls in particular to “relaunch a consultation worthy of the name” with the referral to the “National Commission for Public Debate”. In this text, signed by more than 23,000 people, the visual impact of the project is particularly criticized, with a diagram representing pylons “the height of a 20-story building” which must be installed “every 350 meters”.

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