“Today, we are completely helpless: zero environmental assessment, zero health assessment and yet the government is in force”, declared Wednesday, November 18 on franceinfo Stéphen Kerckhove, general delegate of the association Agir pour l’environnement, while the 5G network is officially launched today. This new generation of mobile networks supposed to increase the flow and speed of our communications, like the first antennas in nine test cities: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Rouen, Nantes and Lille. As for deployment, operators will continue to install thousands of new pylons in the coming months until 2025.

franceinfo: You would have preferred that we waited for this 5G deployment?


Stéphen Kerckhove: Yes, we regret that the government has decided to pass in force by mixing speed and haste. Especially since we are awaiting a report from the National Environmental Safety Agency which will assess the possible health effects of 5G on health next January. Once again, the minister’s agenda for frequency allocations is above all dictated by the Christmas holidays when a lot of packages are sold. It is therefore motivated by the lobbying of operators and not at all by a desire to put things in order, that is to say wait for the evaluations to arrive and possibly make the right choice. Today, we are completely helpless: zero environmental assessment, zero health assessment and yet the government is going strong.

When the Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, says on franceinfo that there are 28,000 studies which show that there is no impact on health in the world, that does not convince you ?

I think she’s a multi-repeat offender of the approximation. However, the status of minister should require you to be exact. These are not 28,000 studies on mobile telephony but on waves (light, sound and electromagnetic). There are only 4000 studies that have been conducted on the potential effects of electromagnetic waves and they absolutely do not point in the same direction. Today there are a number of questions about the health impact. If ANSES, the National Health Security Agency, is working on this issue of 5G, it is because we do not have many studies on the frequencies used by 5G. On the other hand we have one certainty, it is the health impact of digital on addiction: a teenager aged 13 to 18 will spend 6:40 in front of a screen and 5G will amplify this movement when we know that the he digital addiction reduces children’s cognitive abilities, generates hyper-activity, insomnia, infobesity … All these elements should contribute to having a real public debate in society. And we regret that the government did not seize the National Commission of the public debate.


Do the arguments of operators who say they need 5G to manage the increase in traffic and avoid the saturation of their mobile networks, that do not hold for you?

It all depends on what we are talking about. The three uses that we suppose to emerge from 5G are: supporting the explosion of streaming, connected objects and remote monitoring with facial recognition. All of these elements will increase electricity consumption in the digital sector and greenhouse gas emissions, and all this for a use that is more than problematic. Today, we have a number of players who are looking forward to 5G with relish to amplify this collection of personal data. [Pour contrer cela], we again seized the Council of State in summary proceedings to suspend the attributions of frequencies. We hope that the Council of State will force the government to review its copy and we also hope that the mayors who will undergo citizen mobilizations locally will largely adopt moratoriums for this development which is being done without any reason and any objective analysis. consequences of 5G. Town halls can have a real impact as owners, because relay antennas are installed on public furniture, on heritage managed by cities and we encourage town halls to put pressure on operators and on the government to prevent the deployment. of this 5G on its heritage.