The independent body has scrutinized all the measures of the post-Covid plan to assess their contribution to France’s low-carbon strategy.
Good start, but could do better. This is basically what the High Council for the Climate (HCC) concludes in a report published Tuesday, December 15. The independent organization scrutinized the hundred or so measures of the recovery plan intended to restore the economy after the ravages of the health crisis, by asking this question: what will be their impact on the country’s low-carbon transition?
The HCC welcomes “thegreening effort of the French recovery plan“, Which is, according to him,”among the best endowed in the world“. Another positive point, this plan – which should be spread over two years – does not directly support the fossil fuel industries (gas, coal). This is not the case everywhere else. According to the Energy Policy Tracker project, in fact, the G20 countries have announced at least 234 billion dollars of public money for fossil fuels, against 151 billion for clean energies.
The French recovery plan of 100 billion euros (including around 30 billion specifically dedicated to the ecological transition) will therefore not lead to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to the current trajectory. But it does not go far enough to reduce them, estimates the HCC.
The ambiguity of the measures “neutral“
As a reminder, the national low carbon strategy (SNBC) defines the country’s short and medium-term GHG reduction objectives, with emission ceilings not to be exceeded in the key sectors of construction, transport, agriculture. , energy, industry or waste. And France is not in the nails. The first provisional report for 2015-2018 indicates that emissions have only decreased by 1% per year on average during this period, while the SNBC forecast a decrease of at least 2%.
The Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, declared that the stimulus plan should reduce emissions by 0.6% per year and save “57 million tonnes of CO2“. This is not enough to respect the SNBC, recalls the High Council for the Climate.
The government has carried out its own assessment of the impact of each measure in the plan. According to him, 30% of them are “favorable“To the low-carbon trajectory and 68.4% are qualified as”neutral”, Either for lack of data, or because their effect is assumed to be insignificant compared to what exists today. However, as Corinne Le Quéré, president of the HCC, underlined during a press point on Monday, these measures are not “neutral“Insofar as they register”in line with the trajectory of current excessively high emissions in France“. “PTo evaluate this plan, take as a reference the trajectory defined by the SNBC», She insisted. Otherwise the plan does “run the risk of foreclosure in long-term high-emission activities, According to the report.
The HCC points out in particular a lack of ambition in the agricultural sector. He also underlines that forests, which are a crucial carbon sink to absorb our emissions, are very “insufficiently considered.“The High Council therefore recommends”strengthen the accounting of the recovery plan with the carbon neutrality objective set by law»And to implement without further delay tools allowing precise monitoring of the implementation of these measures.
The report’s other major conclusion is that the “France Relance” plan, which is supposed to guide investments over the next few years, is not part of a long-term carbon neutrality strategy that France must achieve in 2050. “It is insufficient to initiate the necessary breaks“And structural changes, even considers the president of the HCC, who cites several examples:”For the energy renovation of buildings, we must support the industry over ten years and put in place the jobs of tomorrow. (…) In transport, the electrification of the vehicle fleet could be more fully supported.Because, as the High Council for the Climate reminds us, the coming decade is crucial to achieve structural changes compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.