Elisabeth Borne displays her voluntarism despite a plan without concrete measures

The head of government Elisabeth Borne, the minister for ecological transition Christophe Bechu (on the right) and that of agriculture Marc Fesneau, meet the members of the National Council for Ecological Transition, in Paris, on May 22, 2023.

By unveiling, Monday, May 22, the quantified objectives of France’s decarbonization trajectory by 2030, Elisabeth Borne made it clear that she was personally responsible for ecological planning. As if to underline the importance of the subject, she had made the trip to the members of the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE) alongside a dozen ministers.

Despite this proactive stance, concrete measures, and the means of financing them, were lacking in this two-hour presentation, which however had the merit of clearly setting out the objectives. To comply with its European commitments, France must reduce its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030 by 50% compared to 1990, in order to reach 270 million tonnes of CO equivalent2 (MTeCO2), compared to 408 million in 2022. This is twice as large a drop in the next eight years as that achieved in more than thirty years.

The march is high, recognizes the government, while congratulating itself on having “respected carbon budgets” of recent years. A goal achieved in fact largely thanks to the successive effects of Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, mild winters and the sobriety efforts made in recent months.

Reduce building emissions by 53%

“The distribution of effort by sector”, specified in a prepared document by the General Secretariat for Ecological Planning (SGPE), shows the way forward: to achieve the 2030 targets, buildings will have to see their emissions reduced by 53% compared to 2022, energy by 42.5% and industry by 37.5%.

The action plan must be based on three important components: the national low-carbon strategy (SNBC), the multi-year energy planning law (PPE) and the national biodiversity strategy (SNB), announced for the end of June.

According to Matignon, half of the measures presented in this plan have already been implemented, in particular through the acceleration law on renewable energies, the recovery plan, France 2030… The other half, “remaining to be documented”, will have to be discussed during thematic meetings, in each ministry, with the actors concerned, to go into the detail of each concrete objective. And make sure it’s feasible.

“Proportionate and equitably distributed”

For example: will there be enough carbon-free energy if we move towards all-electric transport? To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this sector, what reductions will aid for electric vehicles, measures on teleworking or carpooling represent? And so what regulatory and financial measures should this entail?

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