Why did you decide to join the French pavilion?
In first place, it is an honour. One cannot refuse the opportunity to demonstrate the industrial know-how and original approach of waste treatment by a public service, which is unique in Europe.
Moreover, it is an opportunity to explain how, during the period of the energy transition, fossil fuels can be partly replaced by energy recovery in order to power heat and electricity networks, in particular in the dense urban environment of major cities.
What innovations do you intend to present?
We will be looking at both innovation and transformation. Major cities are henceforth considered from the point of view of an urban metabolism which needs to move towards autonomy, producing what it needs in situ while also recycling the waste that it generates on-site.
The story of this transformation deserves to be told, since it is henceforth being repeated and accelerating in all major international cities. In France it took about 150 years for this idea of the unity of time and place to be manifested in high-tech industrial facilities, whether with regard to the treatment of household and industrial waste or sanitation. We are going to tell this story, since it has great significance as a means of convincing visitors, if need be, of urban areas’ capacity for resilience.We will be presenting environmental and technological innovations which illustrate this creativity.
What does Kazakhstan represent for you?
This fascinating country has recently come to occupy the forefront of the international scene. For two reasons, its ambition and the demands which it applies in terms of environmental policies. In a field where we have taken the time to experiment, to succeed, sometimes to make mistakes and to make careful progress in these areas, Kazakhstan illustrates the will to perform well or better, but at a very rapid pace. I consider that the pooling of expertise brings us together in terms of new awareness of the rapidity of change and of the urgency of the environmental situation.
Interview of November 4, 2016.