Energy and climate law approved in France
After obtaining the green light from France's National Assembly, the energy and climate bill was approved by the Senate in recent days. According to the Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, it is “a milestone towards the achievement of the government’s ambitions to fight climate change”, which places France among the first countries to include carbon-neutrality into a law of the State, implementing the principles of the Paris climate agreement.
The law has set the target for carbon-neutrality to be reached by 2050 through a series of measures including: reducing consumption of fossil fuels by 40% by 2030 compared with the previously agreed 30% target cut; promoting the development of hydrogen with a view to reaching between 20% and 40% of total industrial hydrogen consumption with low carbon emissions by 2030; making greater use of renewable energy sources in order to achieve a production volume of 27.5 GW from hydroelectric sources by 2028, with 8% of energy produced by biogas by 2028 and developing at least 1 GW per year from offshore wind energy up to 2024. The ‘green budgeting’ principle was also introduced: the draft budget law will be accompanied by a report on the environmental impact of the planned measures, with a supervisory role given to the High Council for Climate Change that was asked to give its opinion on them.
There will also be a five-year law on climate planning: the law will have to establish, starting from 2023 and then every five years, the priority of actions and procedures to follow to provide an effective response to the climate and ecological emergency. This law, which will have to be drawn up in close cooperation with the High Council for Climate Change, will illustrate in detail the energy consumption reduction targets, especially fossil fuel consumption, and the intermediate targets to reduce greenhouse gases and develop renewable energy sources. According to the lawmakers, the act will serve to introduce regulatory instruments that will guarantee the success of the energy transition, establishing the steps needed and the route to take to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
With regard to making buildings more energy efficient, the goal is to replace 600,000 diesel heating systems and carry out 600,000 thermal installation projects by the end of 2020.