On March 6, 2015, the EU and its Member States (including France) communicated their INDC in conformity with the Paris Agreement. The EU and its Member States are committed to a binding target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, to be fulfilled jointly. The Climate Action Tracker considered that the 40% emissions reduction target is significantly behind what is achievable and necessary by the EU and rated the EU’s pledge as “medium.” They see that the EU target is not consistent with limiting warming to below 2°C, let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit and represents only a slight slowdown in the rate of climate action compared to the preceding quarter-century—at exactly the time when there needs to be a threefold acceleration.
France scored 53 points and ranks third on the EU’s climate leaderboard, a tool that allows citizens to hold their governments accountable for the positions they take to implement the Paris Agreement. Regarding reducing its emissions, France´s results to date are positive. The French GHG emissions have all been below the targets over the past years. For example, in 2014 the French target was 389,5 Mt CO2 eq., but actual GHG emissions reached only 353,5 Mt CO2 eq.
Finally, the policy program of Emmanuel Macron, newly elected French president, includes few important aspects concerning climate change and the implementation of the Paris agreement. He commits to reviving the development of renewable energy and sticking to the objectives set in the energy transition bill, i.e., to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 30% by 2030 compared with 2012; to increase the share of renewable energies to 32% of fuel energy consumption and 40% of electricity production by 2030. However, the prohibition to issue new permits for hydrocarbon exploration and production is only temporary and no decision has been taken to make this prohibition permanent.
France is standing still and taking a slow-paced approach to honoring its INDC pledge to the Paris Agreement. The real challenge for France is not so much to fulfil the INDC adopted at the EU level, but to stick to the objectives of the energy transition bill especially concerning the development of renewable energy.