France’s Climate Plan

 

The fight against climate change must change scale and become irreversible. On the initiative of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, France is swinging into action with a bold Climate Plan. Presented in July 2017, it contains a series of ambitious and innovative measures to embed the objectives of the Paris Agreement in public action and to involve all actors in this global fight. With this plan, France is speeding up its commitment to achieve energy and climate transition on its own territory, within the European Union and at the international level.

The ambition of the Climate Plan is to project France into the post-carbon world, by aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan aims to mobilise States, but also businesses, associations, research, territorial communities, and social partners... the whole society. With this initiative, France is also broadening its solidarity policy in favour of the most vulnerable and taking decisive action to lead by example and through education at the international level, working tirelessly to convince of the universal relevance of the Paris Agreement.

To this end, France is making every effort to strengthen climate diplomacy with all its European and international partners. France places particular importance on supporting developing countries in the fight against climate disruption and in adapting to climate disruption. France is fully committed to supporting the replenishment of the two funds which provide the financial basis of the Paris Agreement: the Global Environment Facilities and the Green Climate Fund.

The Climate Plan is divided into six chapters, six priorities whose aim is to activate environmental, economic and financial levers:

  • Making the implementation of the Paris Agreement irreversible;
  • Improving the daily lives of all French people;
  • Putting an end to fossil fuel energy and committing to carbon neutrality;
  • Making France the n°1 player in the green economy by turning the Paris Agreement into an opportunity for attractiveness, innovation and jobs;
  • Mobilising the potential of ecosystems and agriculture to combat climate change;
  • Increasing international mobilisation on climate diplomacy.

The Climate Plan therefore gathers and organises a whole set of measures, some relating to the traditional climate and energy spheres of action, others being more cross-cutting, such as the circular economy policy, and impacting other economic sectors.

In order to make the fight against climate change irreversible, the Plan incorporates several of its measures into French law. It also chooses to involve citizens in an innovative way in monitoring the plan, especially through actions known as “participatory budgeting”.

In addition to the initiative ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’, we can quote several flagship measures and objectives of climate and energy policies to illustrate the plan:

  • The Climate Plan includes new objectives concerning greenhouse gas emissions. France is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, i.e. to reach a balance between human emissions and the capacity of ecosystems to absorb the carbon emissions;
  • France wishes to put an end to fossil fuels. To this end it has been decided to prohibit any new project for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons (including shale gas) and to incorporate this within the law;
  • France supports the development of renewable energies, by calling for tenders to achieve the target of 32% renewable energy by 2030, by encouraging land and   offshore wind power, as well as solar energy, geothermal energy and the use of biomass to produce heat;
  • Regarding mobility, a tax priority has been set: to achieve tax harmonisation between diesel and gasoline before 2022, and to speed up the rise in the price of carbon without penalizing the poorest households. The Climate Plan has set the objective of ending the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. A large public consultation has also been launched, the “National Conference on Mobility”, to anticipate mobility in 2030 and draw up policies promoting soft and less polluting mobility;
  • In the area of housing, France is making energy-efficient renovations a national priority and aims to eradicate ”heat sieves” within 10 years. To do this, France offers support to all tenants and owners in a situation of energy insecurity to find sustainable financing;
  • Paris’ ambition is to become one of the main centres for green and responsible finance. France supports the development of Green and Responsible Finance labels. It aims at doubling the volume of green bonds issued by public players. It is at the heart of thinking on the best way of taking climate risks into account in financial regulations and extra-financial reporting. The law requires investors to publish the impact of their activities on the climate (Energy Transition for Green Growth Act – art. 173);
  • Finally, France is committed to publishing a new National climate change adaptation Plan over the coming months.
  • The Climate Plan is not limited to these climate and energy policies but also embraces many other areas and sectors with an obvious impact on the climate, or impacted by it:
  • France will publish a roadmap for the circular economy in March 2018 incorporating the main measures to promote this new model of development (waste taxation, modulation of the eco-contribution, extended producer responsibility, public purchase, etc.). Small and medium-sized enterprises will be helped in this process, to enable them to act against climate change while optimizing their consumption. It is a major industrial revolution, bringing competitiveness and innovation;

 

  • The Climate Plan anticipates a transformation of our agricultural systems in order to reduce emissions and enhance carbon capture in soils. This transformation will be discussed in a large public consultation ‘The National Conference on Food’: food consumption patterns and their impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of nitrogen fertilisers, use of new technologies, action plan for soil protection and fight against its degradation, carbon capture in soils, etc.
  • The Climate Plan is striving to put an early end to the import in France of products contributing to the destruction of tropical forests and plans to develop a National strategy against imported deforestation. As far as its own forests are concerned, France has put in place a National Plan for forests and woodlands and a National Biomass Mobilisation Strategy, which advocate forestry that is more proactive and better respects ecosystems, with the aim of maintaining and extending their central role in carbon storage;
  • France is strengthening its actions to protect the marine and land ecosystems, in France and at an international level, which contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation: increasing its funding for ecosystems protection projects, taking advantage of overseas to launch initiatives for biodiversity helping the climate, and calls for projects to develop nature-based solutions.

 

For more information on the French Climate Plan : French-climat-Plan.pdf