For most restaurants, offering outdoor dining has now become a necessity in the COVID-19 era if they want to stay in business. But for the sake of French cafes and restaurant owners, we hope the coronavirus wanes fast because it’s about to get much more difficult to eat outside in France. France’s Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said outdoor heaters are an “ecological aberration,” and wants to ban them from terraces throughout the nation.
The ban would take effect next year, after the winter season so restaurants can get through COVID-19 and have time to adapt. It would ban the use of terrace heaters, as well as force all heated or air-conditioned buildings to keep their doors closed to avoid wasting energy.
Since more than 75 percent of restaurants and cafes in Paris have a heated terrace, this would impact a vast majority of the city’s restaurants. Reuters reported that environmental NGOs estimate that there are at least 12,500 heated terraces in France.
According to energy conservation group NegaWatt, a gas heater functioning on a 810-square-foot terrace from November to March emits as much carbon emission as a car going around the earth three times.
The new measures were proposed by the 150 members of the Citizens’ Convention on Climate, which was set up by President Emmanuel Macron last year.