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France, the First Country With a Green Roof Law

The Parliament of France decreed a new law directly involving the construction system and environmental sustainability.

The Woman Post | Alexandra Domínguez

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From now on, all buildings built in commercial areas are covered, at least partially, with plants or solar panels, in what was called green roofs.

It is no secret that globalization and industrialization bring greater development, modernity, increased production, and even new economic strategies. However, this leads not only to urban growth but also to air pollution problems due to suspended particles, either from chemical emissions from factories or the emission of gases from automobiles, causing global warming and pollution. This means that people's health problems increase, especially in large urban areas. In 2014, the statistics made by the European Union showed that in France, every year, 40,000 people die due to lung damage caused by environmental pollution.

With the firm intention of reducing the environmental impact and trying to reduce the concentration of suspended particles present in the air -which at that time reached 80 micrograms per cubic meter to a maximum of 20-, the Parliament of France decreed a new law that directly involves the construction system and environmental sustainability. This law forces with it that from now on, all buildings built in commercial areas must be covered, at least partially, with plants or solar panels, in what was called "green roofs."

By creating a green roof, a tiny ecosystem is consolidated with which many benefits are obtained, among which some are worth highlighting:

-The temperature of the building is regulated, cooling in summer and maintaining heat in winter: This not only prevents sudden changes in temperature inside the building but also, by keeping the structure isolated, saves energy consumption either by heating or cooling.

-The saw effect is reduced: There is more pure oxygen production, and the air quality is improved.

-As a source of resources in the case of cultivating neighborhood gardens.

-It would favor pollination and biodiversity, both of the fauna and the flora.

Those buildings that have some inconvenience to plant must install solar panels. In this way, solar energy production would be encouraged while on the way to eco-sustainability.

The measure would increase the production of photovoltaic energy, which by 2013 placed France well below other countries belonging to the European community, with only 6% of solar energy production.

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As reported by the WHO in 2012, statistics up to that year revealed that there were 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide due to ischemia, pneumonia, respiratory problems, asthma, and lung cancer, among others, due to pollution.

The global agenda currently focuses on creating public policies through decrees that help reverse the harmful environmental impact on ecosystems, people, and the environment. With this new decree from Parliament, France became the first to enact such a law.