France: (1) Increase compliance with EU Paris Agreement pledge (2) Substantially increase use of renewable energy (3) Reduce energy dependence and the importation of oil, coal, and uranium
According to government statistics, France was able to cut its GHG emissions by more than 16% between 1990 and 2014. France currently accounts for less than 1.2% of worldwide GHG emissions and the country exceeded the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. Nevertheless, the average decrease in GHG emissions during the same period for the entire EU was 24%. France, therefore, needs to strengthen its compliance and increase its efforts in order to reach the 40% target by 2030.
Experts believe that France needs to commit more efforts to reducing these emissions in different sectors, including, for example, the transportation sector that accounts for more than 30% of national GHG emissions. They believe that the transportation sector is subject to a slow-down/inertia and the government needs to dedicate more attention to existing solutions such as the improvement of cars’ energy efficiency, the promotion of electric cars/engines and ridesharing solutions. A similar observation is being made for the agricultural sector (that accounts for 20% of GHG emissions). Experts believe that practices/solutions such as eco-agriculture and the fight against food waste are not promoted or encouraged enough at the national level.
A lot has been done so far, especially in terms of support for the purchase of clean vehicles, tax reductions/benefits for works that improve energy efficiency and different measures aimed at making the agricultural sector more eco-friendly. Nevertheless, the target set for 2030 (40% GHG emission reductions) and 2050 (cf. 100% renewable energies) are ambitious and require the country to increase its efforts and accelerate the implementation of both new and existing solutions.
One of the key ways that could help France reach its 2030 and 2050 objectives is to increase the use of renewable energy substantially over the coming years. In 2013, the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix was estimated at 14.2%. Experts estimated that France would need an additional 13.5 Mtep between 2013 and 2020 in order to reach the 23% objective (share of renewable energy) by 2020. The government needs to focus on developing existing tools and policies and to closely monitor their implementation (e.g. the 2015 Transition Law is currently a basis/key tool on which decision-makers can work to achieve the set targets for the different sectors). In the same way, reducing energy dependence and reliance on the import of fossil fuel, petroleum, coal, but also uranium is an essential part of this strategy at the national level. Last but not least, the focus should also be on improving renewable energy financing mechanisms.
Therefore, commitment from the different private/public actors as well as the improvement of existing tools/policies/mechanisms and the development of new ones are necessary in order to reach renewable energy targets set for 2020, 2030 and 2050.