Giving Compass’ Take:
• In highlighting the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations profiles a village in northern France called Langouët, which has been a hub of innovative green projects, including energy efficient wooden houses and a shared electric car.
• Could the self-sufficiency of Langouët be replicated elsewhere, even here in the U.S.? It would require buy-in across many sectors, but no goals (SDGs or otherwise) should be out of reach.
• Which clean energy technology is best? Check out this article to find out.
“Small is beautiful” would be an ideal slogan for the village of Langouët in Brittany, northern France. This community of 600 inhabitants, located near Rennes, is well on the way to energy autonomy and is aiming for food self-sufficiency, too. Over the past 20 years, Langouët has been developing a whole host of green projects, designed to meet these objectives: since 2004, a canteen that serves 100% organic and local produce; passive social housing (no active heating used, or very little); a hamlet of “kitchen-garden houses”; a garden used for teaching permaculture; a community café; a solar power plant; an activity hub focused on the social and solidarity economy; a shared electric car… Daniel Cueff, who has been mayor of Langouët since 1999, has been the driving force behind the transition.
Cueff, who admitted he ended up chief administrator of Langouët “a bit by accident”, can rely on the commitment of the residents to get these projects off the ground — to such an extent that, even in a context of shrinking public coffers, the village was able to count on its residents to fund its experiments.
“Anything we can do locally, we go for it!” Cueff said. So why shouldn’t that apply to funding? Mission accomplished! This year, the town council borrowed 25,000 euros (USD 29,642) from locals. The initiative was even a victim of its own success: the funds were raised in just two days, from a handful of residents. Admittedly, this wasn’t the first time that Langouët’s council had attempted such a feat. In 2016, they had already taken a loan of 40,000 euros from the villagers to finance part of the village’s redevelopment. In both cases, the council’s bankers were able to lend between 200 and 2,000 euros at a two percent gross interest rate per year over a six-year period.
Read the full article about the green little Gallic village by Mathilde Golla at The Hindu.
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