Macron announces French strategy for climate action, wants more EU funds

Macron announces French strategy for climate action, wants more EU funds |

France will totally phase out coal by 2027, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday (25 September), adding that he hopes for more European climate funding.

“Europe must invest more in the ecological transition. There can’t be a real European decarbonisation strategy if there’s only regulation and no investment,” he said.

For several months, the government has been preparing France’s strategy in this area. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 5% a year to reach the European target of -55% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

Macron called on the European Commission to invest more in the climate transition to achieve these targets.

France has already earmarked €40 billion for climate action in 2024. It is €7 billion more than in 2023.

This budget will be included in the Finance Bill to be presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday before being debated in the French Parliament.

Macron also detailed several forthcoming emblematic measures, such as the total phase-out of coal in France “by January 1, 2027”.

“That’s the priority we’ve set for the country and one we’re going to take to Europe and the rest of the world”. A sort of “French-style ecology […] that doesn’t decide to reopen coal-fired power plants” like Germany, he explained.

In fact, France has two coal-fired power plants still in operation, with one reopened in 2022 in reaction to the energy crisis.

The French president also backtracked on phasing out gas-fired boilers. “We have decided […] to focus instead on a policy of encouraging” the installation of heat pumps, he explained. Macron plans to produce one million heat pumps in France by 2027.

In Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands, governments have also backed down on the ban on gas-fired boilers, fearing social unrest.

About transport, Macron reiterated the goal of producing one million electric cars in France by 2027. To achieve this, the president intends to relaunch a “major inventory of French mining resources.”

Speaking of industry, Macron explained that “we will be able to truly announce electricity prices that are compatible with competitiveness and that will give visibility to both households and our industrial customers in October”.

Macron does not wish to “wait” for the reform of the EU electricity market design currently under negotiation “to ensure that […] the French do not have to pay for electricity that is highly competitive in France” thanks to its nuclear power.

The timetable announced coincides with the next EU Energy Council on 17 October, particularly important for the future of the EU electricity market design.

For now, France is still defending the integration of existing nuclear assets within the market design framework, a point of contention with Germany and its allies.

(Paul Messad|

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