French GHG emissions declined by 4.2% in 2018

20 Jun 2019

According to the French Interprofessional Technical Center for Air Pollution Studies (CITEPA), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in France declined by 4.2% to 445 MtCO2eq (excluding Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF)), thanks to a decline in GHG emissions from the transport sector (the first since 2013, in a context of economic growth). Emissions were also lower owing to a milder winter limiting energy consumption and to a better availabilty of nuclear and hydropower plants: nuclear power generation rose by 3.7% and hydropower generation increased by 27%, while thermal power generation fell by nearly 25%. Overall, GHG emissions in France have declined by 16% compared with 1990, against a rising population (+15%) and a growing economy (+49% for GDP between 1990 and 2018).

In May 2019, the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MEIT) presented a draft law on energy and climate aimed at setting France on a zero-emissions track by 2050. This new draft law lists a set of goals including a reduction in the consumption of fossil-fuels to at least 40% by 2030 (instead of the 30% target set at the Energy Transition Act (Loi de transition énergétique, 2015)). The draft also establishes a zero-coal target by 2022 and the reduction of the share of nuclear power in the power mix to under 50% by 2035, instead of 2025. Other major targets are envisioned such as the complete elimination of the use of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040 and the renovation of all low-insulation houses within 10 years (building sector). The draft takes some of the goals set at the Energy Transition Act of 2015 such as cutting GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 (and dividing them by 4 by 2050) and increasing the share of renewables to 32% of final energy consumption by 2030.

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