2010 analysis: main findings
The results of 2010 show that in France, although most areas are addressed, the policies and measures are not ambitious enough to transform France into a low-carbon economy. France rates comparatively well in transport, but incentives for the use of renewables and energy efficiency by industry are very limited. Highlights include:
- There is a well-functioning support system for electricity generated from renewable sources through a feed-in tariff with long support periods (15/20 years) and a cap on only a very limited area of the support. However, tariffs for photovoltaics (PV) have been reduced in several stages. The requirements for wind turbine installations were strengthened, adding new legal constraints and administrative procedures.
- Francecurrently has some of the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions for new cars (131g CO2/km) and has introduced a bonus-malus system to further lower these emissions.
- Well-managed forests exist in France and extensive information regarding climate change and sustainable forest management is available for public and privately owned forests.
- There is a lack of industry-related action. France could increase its ambition for both renewable energy and energy efficiency in industry. This could include higher energy taxes (France’s taxes being comparatively low) in combination with tax exemptions when voluntary agreements are met. Good examples of such schemes are found in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
- The overall strategies in the Plan Climat, published in 2010, run until 2020, which is a relatively short-term timeframe. France was the first country to introduce a binding long-term goal of reducing emissions by a factor of four by 2050 through the Grenelle I law in August 2009. In summer 2010, the Grenelle II law presented the first concrete actions needed to reach the defined targets, but it does not yet present a comprehensive long-term strategy to achieve them. At the end of June 2011, the French Government launched a working group on possible scenarios to reduce the country’s emissions by 80% in 2050. Good practises with longer-term strategies are found in Denmark and the UK.