France's cut in GHG emissions insufficient to meet future carbon budget

10 Jul 2020

According to the French High Council on Climate (HCC), the current reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is insufficient to meet future carbon budget. France's GHG emissions decreased by 0.9% in 2019, which is similar to previous years and far from the -3% decrease expected in 2025. The four main emitting sectors, namely transport (30%) followed by agriculture, construction, and industry, all missed the first carbon budget (2015-2018). For the HCC, the temporary drop in emissions during lockdown is marginal in comparison with the efforts to be made. According to the HCC, climate-compatible recovery measures should focus on building retrofitting, investments in public transports, energy efficiency and electrification in industry, carbon storage in soils and renewable energies.

In April 2020, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MEIT) issued two decrees implementing the Multi-annual Energy Plan to 2028 (Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie, PPE) and the National Low Carbon Strategy, which were first released in January 2019. The parliament adopted the French Strategy for Energy and Climate (Energy-Climate Act), which is based on these two policies, in September 2019. The French Strategy for Energy and Climate aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It targets a 16.5% cut in final energy consumption by 2028 (compared to 2012), a 40% reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels by 2030 – instead of the 30% target set in the Energy Transition Act (Loi de transition énergétique, 2015) – and the closure of the last coal-fired power plant by 2022.

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