France - Environment

France told its climate targets will fail under 'weak and insufficient' law

France has committed to reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
France has committed to reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030. AFP

France got another pummelling over its climate policies on Tuesday after the High Council on Climate added to criticism of the government’s "climate and resilience" bill, which it said was weak and insufficient.

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The independent assessment body set up by President Emmanuel Macron to advise the government on climate policy warned France would fail to meet its Paris Agreement targets in the bill’s current form.

France has committed to reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and the draft law – aimed at rolling out the 146 proposals of the Citizens' Climate Convention – is how the government hopes to fulfil its promises.

But council president Corinne Le Quéré said the bill “does not offer enough strategic scope", also criticising a "lack of transparency” on the government’s intended methods. 

In particular, the council wants to see reforms to proposals on domestic flight restrictions and the energy renovation of buildings. It also wants a ban on advertising fossil fuels to be extended to goods and services that are incompatible with France’s ecological transition.

Lagging transition

The council, which already warned last year that France was way off its climate targets, emphasised that this decade was "crucial" for implementing structural climate reforms. 

It said the climate bill represented "missed opportunities” for France to accelerate action on climate, which was already lagging.

"Emissions have fallen by an average of 1.2 percent a year over the last five years, whereas the expected reduction was 1.5 percent a year between 2019 and 2023," the council said.

It has urged the government to define a “clear and predictable trajectory” that will offer France’s emitting sectors a more “strategic vision” for decarbonation.

Earlier this month a Paris court ruled that France had failed to take proper action to tackle the climate crisis, holding the state legally responsible for its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The "climate and resilience" bill is to be examined by parliament tomorrow. 

The council is to deliver a more detailed report on 23 February.

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