Green industry: the government’s plan for its new tax credit

Reindustrialize France with a zero carbon footprint, and at zero cost to public finances. This is the bet of Bruno Le Maire who presented this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers his bill to take off the green industry.

Halve the opening times, prepare turnkey sites, condition the electrical bonus, train… Emmanuel Macron presented the main lines a few days ago. This Tuesday, accompanied by the Minister Delegate for Industry Roland Lescure and the Minister for Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu, the Minister of the Economy detailed them. And provided details on the financial arsenal of the law which will be discussed from June 19 in the Senate, then mid-July in the embly.

France will be the first European country to take advantage of the new possibilities of industrial financing unsheathed by Europe, in response to the mive US subsidy plan , the IRA (Inflation Reduction Act), argued Bruno Le Maire. “We want to fire on all cylinders. In this time of budgetary difficulties, it is imperative that funding does not rely solely on public funds”.

Uncapping of the auto malus

To deal with the American offensive, the executive is counting in particular on a new tax credit. This could represent between 20 and 45% of investments in four “green” sectors – batteries, wind, photovoltaic solar and heat pumps – and will cost 500 million euros per year. Sufficient in the face of the 400 billion Americans? The Minister of the Economy rejects the comparison, recalling that this tax credit is in addition to other devices.

The bill also provides for subsidies. They will essentially be based on Bpifrance, which will release 2.3 billion euros in direct loans or financing guarantees for the transition of companies. Aid that will be conditional on the measurement of their carbon impact, depending on the size of the company: VSEs would be excluded and SMEs would have an obligation to carry out a simple diagnosis. This work could be done after the payment of the aid, specifies the cabinet of the minister.

Finally, private savings will be mobilized for an expected total of 5 billion per year. Besides the future climate savings plan intended for those under 18, from which Bercy expects 1 billion euros per year and which will finance “renewable energies, the decarbonization of industry or innovative companies”, the government is counting on 4 billion via life insurance and retirement savings.

knife fight

“Europe does not have to be ashamed of the comparison with the IRA. If each State committed like France with as much force in this industrial determination, the figures would be comparable”, argued Bruno Le Maire, recalling in ping, on the French side, the 54 billion of the France 2030 plan, a large part of which in favor of industry, and those of the research tax credit. “Yes, the battle is tough, with a knife between China, the United States, Europe. Nobody makes a gift! “, he launched. And to recall the Choose France summit which had been held the day before, with 200 foreign patrons : “Believe me the discussions at Versailles, it was under the gilding, but often it is brutal. »

Beyond the “knife battle”, there is also the budgetary battle. Because Bercy promised that this “green industry” plan would have zero cost. The “entirety” of the 500 million tax credit will be financed, insisted Bruno Le Maire.

First, by increasing the automobile penalty. It will be uncapped (it is now capped at 50% of the price of the vehicle) and its criteria, on m and CO2 emissions, will be revised. Hardenings which risk arousing some reservations from industrialists. The Minister also mentioned the greening of company fleets, via the increase in taxes on CO2 emissions, and on the age of vehicles. Discussions will take place during the 2024 budget.

Brown niches in the viewfinder

These changes should fund most of the 500 million. But Bercy also intends to hunt for “brown” tax expenditures. An audit is also underway. Evoked for several years, the abolition of tax advantages on polluting fuels for taxis, air travel or road transport looks like an Arlesian as it seems complicated to put in place.

“I have never concealed that I wanted us to re-examine all the tax loopholes which finance expenditure for fossil fuels”, indicated the Minister. But we must support the sectors concerned, he added. “When you reduce a tax advantage, it is not forbidden to be imaginative, and to say that part goes to the greening of our economy, another to support”, citing the example of construction companies whose vehicles run on diesel.

A 1st piece of legislation essed on its carbon footprint

According to Bercy, the various measures of the bill on green industry would make it possible to reduce France’s carbon footprint by 41.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030, “i.e. two years of emissions of a city ​​like Paris. The tax credit would be the measure with the strongest impact, with an estimated reduction of 34.6 million tonnes between 2024 and 2030. The car bonus would allow a reduction of 3.2 million tonnes, the financing of the 2.1 million green industry and 1.6 million brownfield rehabilitation. Overall, the reduction in emissions is estimated at around 1% of the country’s carbon footprint, and “at least 3% of the emissions ociated with the final domestic demand for manufactured goods”, specifies the ministry in a document.

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