Wind turbines
13 July 2016

At the forefront of green growth, France is set on developing its action on behalf of the environment

A recent OECD report shows that the Government’s environmental policy is both determined and ambitious. France is resolute in continuing its action in this respect, especially as regards carbon pricing.
Content published under the Government Valls III from 2016 11th February to 2016 06th December
 
In its latest report on France’s showing in its Environmental Performance Reviews, the OECD highlights the Republic’s progress, including in the areas of:
 
  • decoupling, in particular by reducing its greenhouse gas and other atmospheric pollutant emissions, reducing freshwater abstraction and stabilising municipal waste production (GDP 2013 = 116, GHG 2013 = 89; base 100 in 2000),
 
  • eco-innovation and promotion of investment in green growth: added value and job creation have increased more rapidly in this area than in the rest of the economy.
 
The OECD emphasises France’s role as a driving force behind the adoption of the international agreement on the climate, the law on energy transition, the bill on biodiversity, and progress made on ecotaxation (introduction of the carbon component in taxation of fossil energies).
 
The Government will continue to act with determination to improve France’s environmental performances, with the conviction that they have become a key lever for economic and social performance. Among other things, it will continue to promote agroecology, a field highlighted and recommended by the OECD, and its action on carbon prices.
 

Action on carbon pricing

The conclusions of the mission entrusted to Engie SA Chairman Gérard Mestrallet, WWF France director Pascal Canfin and economist Alain Grandjean in early April with a view to setting up effective, predictable and coordinated carbon pricing in the context of the Paris Agreement on the Climate, have just been presented to the Government. The report makes ten operational proposals including introduction of a carbon price corridor at European level in the form of a minimum and maximum auction price for carbon quotas in order to orientate investment towards low-carbon solutions.
 
Ségolène Royal was pleased to see that several members of the European Parliament had submitted an amendment to this end in the context of the revision of the European carbon market directive currently underway. France will be supporting the proposal, which should enable the European Union to achieve its goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on the Climate. With a European carbon price of at least 20 euros per tonne, auctioning revenue received by France could come to almost a billion euros a year as against 315 million euros in 2015 due to prices being set too low. Such revenue would contribute to combating fuel poverty and might also be used to augment the national fund for financing the energy transition.
 
A carbon price floor (CPF) will also be introduced in the French electricity sector on 1 January 2017: the mission suggests that the price floor should be concentrated on coal-fired power plants, so that there would be significant environmental gains while continuing to ensure the safety of the electricity system. Such a measure should be included in the next finance bill.
 
Finally, France will approach the President of the World Bank to suggest setup of a high-level initiative to set desirable carbon pricing at international level, which would enable all countries party to the Paris Agreement on the Climate, depending on their respective capacities, to achieve the goal of limiting the rise in temperature to 2°C or even 1.5°C in comparison to the preindustrial era.
 
France will also continue to promote the subject of carbon pricing at international level through the “Carbon pricing leadership coalition” set up during the launch of COP21 and bringing together Heads of State committed to carbon pricing. The President of the COP invites all States and economic actors to join the coalition.
 

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