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Key figures on climate
France, Europe and Worldwide
2023 EDITION
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French policies to tackle climate change

France is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and, with the Energy and Climate Law adopted in 2019, to achieving carbon neutrality in 2050 by dividing emissions by a factor of more than six compared with 1990. The 2030 target will be revised shortly to bring it into line with the new European 2030 objective of -55% net.

The revised national low-carbon strategy (SNBC), adopted by decree in April 2020, incorporates the goal of carbon neutrality. It provides guidelines for implementing the transition to a low-carbon economy in all sectors of activity, reducing emissions in France and, more generally, France's carbon footprint.

These guidelines have been translated into legislation covering all GHG-emitting sectors (Hydrocarbons Act in 2017, Energy and Climate Act in 2019, Mobility Orientation Act in 2019, Anti-Waste Act for a Circular Economy in 2020, Act to Combat Climate Change and Build Resilience to its Effects in 2021, etc.).

Carbon budgets, or caps on greenhouse gas emissions in France, define the target trajectory for emissions reductions over successive five-year periods, in line with the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

National carbon budgets

In Mt CO2 eq

1st carbon budget
2015-2018

2nd carbon budget
2019-2023

3rd carbon budget
2024-2028

4th carbon budget
2029-2033

Total excluding LULUCF

442

422

359

300

Source: Decree no. 2015-1491 of november 18, 2015 and Decree no. 2020-457 of april 21, 2020 on national carbon budgets and the national low-carbon strategy.

The multi-annual energy program (PPE) for the period 2019-2028, also adopted by decree in April 2020, sets out the priorities for action by the public authorities in managing all forms of energy, in line with the SNBC.

Comparison of emissions with the 2019-2023 carbon budget

In Mt CO2 eq

2nd carbon budget
SNBC no.
2
2019-2023

Indicative carbon budget estimates (High Council on Climate)
2019-2022

Actual emissions 2019-2022 (e)

Differences between actual emissions and the indicative estimates of the High Council on Climate
2019-2022

Transport

128

130

126

- 3 %

Residential and services building use and activities

78

80

72

- 10 %

Agriculture/forestry

82

78

77

- 1 %

Manufacturing and construction

72

76

76

0 %

Energy industry

48

50

44

- 12 %

Centralized waste processing

14

13

16

20 %

Land use, land-use change and forestry

- 39

- 41

- 18

- 55 %

Total excluding LULUCF and CCS*

422

426

410

- 4 %

Total with LULUCF, excl. CCS*

383

385

392

2 %

* Excluding CCS = excluding technological carbon capture and storage.
Note: indicative values for the 2nd carbon budget by year and sector are estimates by the High Council on Climate; emissions data for 2022 are provisional estimates.
Sources: Decree 2020-457 of 21 April 2020 on national carbon budgets and the national low-carbon strategy; High Council on Climate annual report, June 2023; Inventory in Secten format, Citepa, April 2023

Average GHG emissions for the years 2019 to 2022, excluding LULUCF, are below (-4%) the indicative average annual carbon budget estimated by the High Council on Climate for the period 2019-2023. Only the centralized waste treatment sector shows emissions slightly above the carbon budget. On the other hand, for the same period, taking LULUCF into account, national emissions exceed the 2nd carbon budget by 2%. The latest estimates of GHG flows from the LULUCF sector identify a deterioration in carbon storage by forests (lower growth and higher mortality of trees, increased harvesting). This LULUCF sector is crucial to achieving the objectives of the SNBC, as residual emissions in 2050 must be offset by storage, notably by natural sinks such as forests, in order to achieve carbon neutrality.

Climate investments in France

Note: the scope of the 2022 edition of The Landscape of climate finance has been revised in relation to previous versions and cannot be compared with them. Changes in sources, methodology and scope lead to revised results for the entire period covered by the study.
Source: I4CE, Landscape of climate finance, 2022 edition

Nearly 84 billion euros in climate-friendly investments have been identified for 2021. After a slight dip in 2020, they are up 27% year-on-year, driven by the economic recovery, increased public funding and regulatory measures. Since 2011, investment in climate protection has risen by 79%. This sharp rise is due in particular to investments in low-carbon vehicles: multiplied by 46 since 2011, they are responsible for 38% of the total increase in climate investments. Energy-efficient building renovation accounted for 22% of the total increase in investment (+68% since 2011).

According to initial estimates, climate investments will continue to grow in volume terms in 2022 and 2023, but at a slower pace than that seen between 2020 and 2021.

Climate investments in France by sector in 2021

Source: I4CE, Landscape of climate finance, 2022 edition

The Landscape of climate finance covers three sectors: building, transport and energy production. In 2021, France has earmarked almost 23 billion euros for the energy performance of new buildings and almost 20 billion euros for the energy renovation of housing. Transportation comes next, with €14 billion allocated to low-carbon vehicles and €13 billion to modal shift infrastructure. Investments in renewable energies are approaching 10 billion euros, while nearly 5 billion euros have been allocated to the development and extension of nuclear power plants.

Readers interested in this topic will find more information at www.i4ce.org/en. Figures for 2022 and 2023 will be available in November 2023.