Solar panels
27 November 2015

Adoption of the national low-carbon strategy for climate

The National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC), introduced by the energy transition for green growth act, outlines the approach to be adopted in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It sets in motion the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Government will soon publish the first three carbon budgets, which will be broken down into major sectors of activity.
Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February
France, with its energy transition act for green growth, has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% between 1990 and 2030 and fourfold between 1990 and 2050. France's greenhouse gas emissions per person are already among the lowest in the developed world, but more needs to be done. The act introduces tools designed to promote a low-carbon economy, namely 'carbon budgets' and the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC), in order to achieve these new goals. These have been set for the 2015-2018, 2019-2023 and 2024-2028 periods.
'Carbon budgets' are caps on greenhouse gas emissions established for successive five-year periods, designed to set the downward trend in emissions. They are broken down into major sectors of activity (transport, housing, industry, agriculture, energy and waste).
The SNBC outlines strategic guidelines for implementing the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy across all sectors of activity. It has been jointly developed with civil society by means of a broad public consultation and the close involvement of the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE).
The SNBC comprises a series of overarching and sector-specific recommendations that outline the pathway to a low-carbon economy that will improve well-being, growth and employment.
  • It sets a target for reducing the national carbon footprint, which remained stable between 1990 and 2012 owing to an increase in emissions linked to imports. It is important that we work together to ensure that we are not simply outsourcing our emissions but actually reducing them.
  • It will help raise both public and private funding for the energy transition. An 'energy transition for climate' label will help identify investment funds that are funding the green economy, promote the creation of new green funds and encourage businesses to highlight the green aspects of their operations. 
  • In the transport sector, the SNBC aims to achieve a 29% reduction in emissions over the 2015-2028 period, notably by improving the energy efficiency of vehicles consuming 2 litres per 100km and developing clean vehicles (electric cars, biofuels, etc.). 
  • In construction, the SNBC aims to achieve an emissions reduction of nearly 54%, including by rolling out ultra-low energy and energy-plus buildings, accelerating energy renovation work, implementing the concept of eco-design and using smart meters to manage consumption.
  • In agriculture, the SNBC aims to achieve a 12% reduction in emissions through the implementation of the agroecology project. This will involve methanisation, ground cover, maintaining pastureland, developing the agroforestry sector and optimising the use of inputs. 
  • In the industrial sector, the SNBC aims to achieve a 24% emissions reduction, notably by improving energy efficiency, which is also a source of competitiveness, growing the circular economy (reuse, recycling, energy recovery, etc.) and replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
  • In the waste management sector, the SNBC aims to achieve a 33% reduction in emissions, by reducing food waste, developing the concept of eco-design, fighting planned obsolescence, promoting reuse and improving waste recovery efforts.
This economy-wide effort will create both wealth and employment. Indeed, the SNBC impact study reveals the following:
  • a reduction in France's energy bill, as the country becomes less dependent on imported fossil fuels; 
  • an increase in GDP (up to +1.5% on average between 2015 and 2035); 
  • the net creation of 350,000 jobs. 
The strategy will be reviewed every 5 years to take account of the spent carbon budget and map out the new pathway, incorporate new opportunities and new technologies, and raise its ambitions. France would like to see all parties adopt this regular review process at the Paris conference.

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