France Emissions Reduction Policy

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France: Climate Plan

Since 2012, when the first Environmental Conference was held, the French President of the Republic has set a clear course aimed at making France an exemplary nation in terms of environmental protection. The bill on energy transition for green growth was adopted during its first reading at the National Assembly in October 2014, setting ambitious goals and providing operational tools and simple, effective instruments to lower the energy bills of both France and its citizens while combatting climate disruption: by 2030, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with 1990 levels; to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 30% by 2030 compared with 2012; to increase the share of renewable energies to 32% of final energy consumption and 40% of electricity production by 2030; to reduce final energy consumption by 50% by 2050, with an intermediate 2030 target of 20% compared with 2012.

Since 2004, the climate policy in France is presented in the Climate Plan (“Plan Climat” 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011). According to the article 2 of the Law POPE (Programmation fixant les Orientations de la Politique Énergétique), this Plan is actualized every 2 years.

At the national level, policies and measures in the field of climate change have been adopted in a progressive way and most of the time they have been integrated within other public policies. In 2007, the Grenelle de l´environment sought to reinforce the climate policy in France, in setting ambitious objectives in every economic sector and notably:

  • The stabilization of energy demand in the construction sector through a programme of technological breakthroughs for new constructions and an ambitious energy renovation project for existing constructions. In 2012, low energy consumption buildings were generalized. For existing buildings, the government set the objective of reducing by 38% the consumption by 2020.
  • The development of renewable energy in order to reach the objective accepted by France in the framework of the energy-climate package, which means that 23% of the final energy consumption should come from renewable sources by 2020.
  • The reduction of wastes with the objectives to reduce not only their production but as well to improve their recovery.
  • The accelerated development of non-road and non-air transport methods with the objective to bring back by 2020 the GHG emission of transports to their 1990 level. A series of measures has been put in place to support a shift to more environmental friendly transport methods and to improve the efficiency of existing transport methods.

Examples of France’s Commitment to Promote Low-Energy Methods of Transportation

1) National commitment for rail freight: for the transport of goods, the Grenelle Law fixed the objective to increase the modal share of non-road and non-air transport from 15% to 25% by 2022. Launched in September 2009, this national commitment aims at revitalizing the rail freight, through 4 key measures:

  1. The regional core transport infrastructure network for goods will be transformed in order to modernize its exploitation and to switch them toward freight.
  2. A network of efficient rolling motorways will be created;
  3. The high speed rail freight between airport will be developed;
  4. Access to the biggest ports will be improved.

2) High speed railway lines (LGV): for the transport of travelers, 2 000 km of LVG will be built by 2020 with the construction of the line South-Europe-Atlantique, the line Britany-Pays de Loire, the Mediterranean Arch, service in the East of France. An additional program of 2 500 km will be defined at a later stage. Several constructions took place and other were launched end of 2011. In total, more than 800 km of new lines were opened by end 2013. The development of new high speed rail lines allows the modal shift of passengers from the road and the air to rail, increasing the air quality and reducing the GHG emissions as well as the energy consumption.
3) Public transports on separate lanes (TCsP): 1,500 km of new lines will be built outside Ile de France in 15 years (against 329 existing in 2008). The State has launched 2 tender procedures between 2009 and 2010.

Improving the efficiency of used transport means.

1) Bonus-malus system for cars: Established in 2007 and based on the Co2 emissions per kilometer of new vehicles, it rewards by a bonus payment the purchase of vehicles that are least emitting and penalizes the acquisition of the biggest emitters.
2) L´éco-taxe kilométrique: The article 1 of the Law Grenelle 1 established an eco-tax per kilometer which will be withdrawn on lorries circulating on certain roads. It allows taking into account the cost of road uses and will finance transport infrastructure projects. By 2020, the following gains are expected GeS : 0.4 MteqCO2  ee : 0.17 Mtep.
3) National plan for the development of electric vehicles and rechargeable hybrids: Launched in October 2009, its objective is to have 2 million vehicles of this type by 2020. This plan will cover the different areas of electric vehicles including battery, infrastructure for recharge, research and industrialization). For example, 13 pilot agglomerations already committed to deploy recharge infrastructures. The State published a Livre Vert in May 2011 and should bring all answers to the questions that such an important deployment on the national territory raises. The expected gain is 2MteqCo2 by 2020.

On the occasion of Transport Action Day on December 3 2015, Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Head of the French delegation has launched four initiatives for an acceleration of climate actions in the field of transport:
1) Launch of a call for the development of an electric car accessible to all for less than 7,000 EUR;
2 ) France’s support to the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate change that was presented by the “Zero Emission Vehicles Alliance”, and brings together regions and states that commit to electric mobility (20% of electric vehicles by 2030);
3) France’s support, with 2 million EUR from the French Global Environment Facility, to the initiative MobiliseYourCity that aims at facilitating transport planning projects in 20 cities in developing and emerging countries, with the support of AFD (“French Development Agency”), CEREMA (French “Center for studies and expertise on risk, the environment, mobility and planning”), CODATU (French “Cooperation for Development and Improvement of Urban and Suburban Transport), and the German International Cooperation Organisation (GIZ);
4) A national plan for the deployment of positive energy roads that will incorporate photovoltaic cells to generate electricity: 1,000 km within the next 5 years.

Budget Policy That Supports Climate Change Efforts

From a budgetary point of view, all public policies and measures contributing to adaptation and mitigation of climate change are presented in the document for the transversal policy (DPT) “fight against climate change”, that the Minister in charge of Environmental, Sustainable Development, transport and accommodation is in charge of presenting to the Parliament every year in annex to the draft finance law. This document includes:

  • Presentation of transversal policy, list of programs that contributes to it and presentation on how these programs contributes to this policy.
  • Strategic presentation exposing the global strategy to improve the performances of the transversal policy.
  • Detailed presentation of the financial effort done by the State to the transversal policy for the coming year, present year, and previous year.

The coordination and animation of the policy to fight against climate change is under the responsibility of the General Directorate for Energy and Climate and international aspects are coordinated by  the Directorate for international and European affairs. Furthermore, the National Observatory for the Effects of Climate Warming (ONERC) created in 2001 following the Parliament´s initiative has as mission to collect and spread information on warming and extreme weather events. It is under the responsibility of the General Directorate for Energy and Climate.

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