Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.
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Minister of State for Biodiversity
On September 3, 2020, the French Government has released its €100bn recovery plan, "France Relance", with ecological transition as its first priority (€30bn). Most of the measures detailed below are embedded in this recovery plan.
Contact - Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
- Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
- Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
- Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.
1.Climate mitigation measures
Transition to renewable energyResponse Recovery RedesignResponse measures for the renewable energy industry during the sanitary crisis
Various measures have been announced in order to keep the implementation of renewable energy capacity going (including the prorogation of photovoltaic electricity feed-in tariffs).Reference https://www.ecologique-solidaire.gouv.fr/etat-durgence-sanitaire-elisabeth-borne-reuni-acteurs-filiere-des-energies-renouvelables-electriquesContact Ministry for Ecological Transition
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignResponse measures: Support plan for the automotive sector
2 of the 3 priorities of the €8bn "support package to the automotive sector" (May 2020) focus on the greening of this industry.
1° Accelerate the deployment of clean vehicles, by enhancing the scrappage scheme and "ecological bonus", supporting the purchase of battery electric and fuel cell vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and the electric retrofitting of vehicles (conversion of an internal combustion engine to an electric engine)the replacement of old vehicles, while accelerating the deployment of charging points.
2° A €1bn fund will be dedicated to invest and innovate for the production of tomorrow's vehicles, with €200mn specifically dedicated to the modernisation and ecological transition of the industry.
The whole support package goes with commitments of companies on ecological transition and the growth of their production of low and very low emission vehicles.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignResponse measures: Support plan for the aeronautic sector
As part of the support package to the aeronautic sector (June 2020), €1.5bn of public support will be directed to R&D and innovation over the next three years to the development of clean planes (reduction of fuel consumption, electrification, transition towards carbon-neutral fuel), so that it triggers the decarbonation of the aeronautic industry. The whole support package goes with commitments of companies on ecological transition.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Building sectorResponse Recovery RedesignResponse measures: Support for local investment
An extra €1bn has been directed in July 2020 to investments of local authorities (leading to €4.8bn of extra investments through leverage effect), mostly energy efficiency improvement of public buildings.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Building sectorResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Energy renovation of private residential buildings
Two thirds of greenhouse gases emissions of the building sector come from the residential sector. In parallel with the completion of the transformation of the energy transition tax credit into a bonus scheme "MaPrimeRénov'", an additional €2bn will be mobilized in 2021-2022 to strengthen the public support for energy renovation in private housing. The benefit will focus on "global renovation" and will be open to lessors and condominius. Efforts aim at eliminating "thermal colander" (low-performing buildings) by 2030 and reaching the goal of "low-consuming buildings" standard by 2050.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Building sectorResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Thermal retrofitting of public buildings
The Government will make investments in the renovation of public buildings (a €4bn total - doesnt' include the renovation of hospital and medico-social buildings which is covered in another part of the recovery plan) in order to lower their energy and environment footprint , and to improve users' wellbeing (including during the summer). This effort is particularly aimed at buildings for higher education and research purposes and aims at a quick and/or massive impact.
In the French overseas territories, projects will aim to protect the buildings against heat waves.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Building sectorResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Energy renovation and large-scale rehabilitation of public residential buildings
Grants will be awarded (a total of €500m in 2021-2022) to public housing offices, local government authorities and social insertion actors for:
- global energy efficiency renovation, in order to meet highest standards,
- deployment of industrial solutions for energy efficiency so that buildings become zero-energy buildings or plus-energy buildings.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Industry sectorResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Decarbonation of industry
Making industry low-carbon is necessary as 20% of greenhouse gases in France come from industry activities; it is also a way to strengthen middle-term performance of the industry and security of energy supply. Public support will focus on two types of activities through calls for projects:
- investments for energy efficiency and changes of industrial processes (including electrification), with a focus on high emitting activities so that total emissions decrease significantly and quickly;
- low-carbon heat of industrial companies (biomass, solid recovered fuel), with a priority for most cost-effective projects.
In 2020, €200m will be devoted to this goal, and €1bn spread over 2021-2022.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Everyday mobility: a Cycling Plan and public transit projects
Mobility has to address climate change and air pollution. Cycling and public transportation (metro, tram, rapid transit buses) answer to these challenges with a high-quality service if infrastructure meet needs. A total of €1.2bn in 2020-2022 will be devoted to 3 priorities:
1° Public support for developing safe and efficient cycling networks will be increased at least twofold, building on the dynamics observed in cities at the end of the sanitary lockdown (for instance through maintaining temporary installations on a permanent basis). Modal shift solutions will also be designed to support the spread of cycling in rural areas.
2° Developing railway transit in most dense areas for everyday mobility, with the objective to double the modal share of railway transit by 10 years in major urban areas (improvements in frequency, opening hours and fare integration).
3° Developing new offers of public transit services in urban areas: improvement of existing lines, creation of new bus services with bus-only lanes, development of multi-modal hubs. Solutions will be adapted to the size of urban areas.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Greening ports
A programme of additionnal €200m investments aims at both competitiveness and environmental exemplarity of French ports. It will include massive investments for:
- equipments related to energy transition,
- river and railway infrastructure supportive of modal shift,
- high environmental quality warehouses,
- electrification of wharves,
- new fuelling points for natural liquid gas and hydrogen,
- replacement of the State buoy tender fleet, driving the greening of the naval industryReference https://www.economie.gouv.fr/files/files/directions_services/plan-de-relance/annexe-fiche-mesures.pdfContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Support plan for the railway sector
The transport sector has to contribute to climate mitigation: non- or low-emitting transport modes such as the train have to be promoted as technological evolutions in the automobile sector cannot be the sole response. In addition, during the sanitary crisis, the railway freight has demonstrated its important role to ensure a continuous supply of goods.
The €4.7bn plan aims at modernising and improving the quality of the railway network, in order to increase the rail service in its various applications. It will focus on: the transport of passengers by reinvesting in the thin service lines of the territory and by developing night trains for longer-distance journeys ; and the transport of goods by adapting the network to freight, in order to provide the nearest possible access to companies, logistics platforms and ports.Reference https://www.economie.gouv.fr/files/files/directions_services/plan-de-relance/annexe-fiche-mesures.pdfContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Acceleration of transport infrastructure works
Following a reduction of public works during the sanitary crisis, projects which are necessary to the network improvement and the service of territories will be sped up with €550m of extra investments from the State in 2020-2022:
- installation of charging points on highways and national roads
- acceleration of modal shift from cars to public transit and shared transport (dedicated lanes, multimodal stations...)
- river network, so that it can be an alternative to road freight transport
- development of the railway link between Lyon and Turin, in order to alleviate the Alps truck transit and improve air quality in Alps valleys
- modernisation of maritime traffic surveillance and rescue infrastructuresReference https://www.economie.gouv.fr/files/files/directions_services/plan-de-relance/annexe-fiche-mesures.pdfContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Greening the State's car fleet
€180m will be devoted to the replacement of vehicles belonging to the State (including vehicles of Police, Gendarmerie and Customs) only with electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This measure is articulated with the installation of charging pointsContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable transportationResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Purchasing aids for clean vehicles
Building on the support plan for the automotive sector, support of the recovery plan will aim at accelerating fleet renewal and greening, with €1,9bn in 2020-2022:
- Bonus schemes will keep on supporting demand for low and very low emission vehicles.
- building on the success of the support plan for the automotive sector, environmental constraints on scrapping premiums for light vehicles could be enhanced
- Scrapping and/or purchase premiums could support demand for battery or fuel cell electric heavy duty vehicles
- Acceleration of the deployment of charging stations, with the goal of 100 000 publicly accessible charging points by the end of 2021Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)Response Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Green hydrogen industry in France
Energy consumption accounts for around 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in France. Technologies for the production of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen contribute to value creation and to carbon neutrality by 2050. The national hydrogen strategy will have the following priorities, with a total investment of €3.2bn by 2023 and €7.2bn by 2030 (including €2bn in the recovery plan and additional funding from the "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir" (Investment for the Future Programme)):
- Support of projects of companies in order to develop hydrogen solutions,
- Support of hydrogen generation by electrolysis of water, through calls for bids and feed-in;
- Development of demonstrators through a Important Project of Common European interestContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Transition to renewable energyResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Support to the nuclear sector
This measure will support training in critical jobs, modernisation and R&D in companies of the nuclear industry. It will also support the development of small modular reactors and innovative solutions for radioactive waste management. The €200m public support will be complemented by the "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir" and EDF.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
2.Climate adaptation measures
Adaptation planningResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Biodiversity, risk prevention and resilience improvement
This €250m measure aims at strengthening economic sectors which contribute to local employment and the conservation of terrestrial, coastal, maritime and aquatic ecosystems, so that territories can adapt to climate change and become more resilient. All mainland and overseas territories of France are targeted, in liaison with local authorities and stakeholders. Operations will include: adaptation and ecological restauration of infrastructures, operations in protected areas, changes in coastal areas management in order to increase resilience, dam reinforcement works in order to improve safety of people and goods and utilisation.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Human settlementsResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Resilience improvement in the Antilles (earthquakes and cyclons)
This €50m measure aims at improving prevention of earthquake risk for buildings in the Antilles (French overseas) while taking into account resilience to cyclons. It focuses on hospitals, public buildings involved in crisis management, and schools in relation to local government authorities.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
WaterResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Securing water infrastructure
Climate change and increased drought risk threatens water supply; besides, water pollution impedes the ability to preserve and restore water ecosystems and related economic activities. Difficulties are greater in French overseas territories.
Public support will be provided for modernisation of drinking water networks, water treatment plants, and unplugging of rainwater and sewage networks. Specific support will target French overseas territories.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Agr/food securityResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Strengthening of fishery and aquaculture for a better resilience
Fisheries and aquaculture are instrumental in resource management and local non-relocatable jobs but have been severely hit by Covid-19 lockdown. Three priorities will benefit from €50 in 2020-2022:
1° Development projects for aquaculture in a compatible way with marine environment protection and protected marine areas, through calls for projects
2° Innovative ships, through an environmental fund for fishery and aquaculture
3° Promotion of fishery and aquaculture-related jobsContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
InfrastructureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Resilience of electric grids and energy transition in rural areas
Investments in electric grids in rural areas will be increased in order to enhance resilience vis-à-vis extreme climate events (heatwaves, storms, floods) and energy transition (renewable electricity and storage technologies).Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
GovernanceResponse Recovery RedesignNational Low-Carbon Strategy and Multiannual Energy Planning
In April 2020, the French Government has released its second National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC), France’s roadmap for reducing its emissions, and Multiannual Energy Planning (PPE), setting action priorities in the energy field for the decade to come.Contact Ministry for Ecological Transition
GovernanceResponse Recovery RedesignGreen conditionnalities to public support
Large companies which are supported by equity purchases from the Government Shareholding Agency as part of the response package shall submit commitments of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, in line with carbon budgets of the French NDC. These commitments are monitored by an annual report.
The Government Shareholding Agency ensures that companies it supports act consistenly with climate change and ESG concerns.Reference https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/loi/2020/4/25/2020-473/jo/article_22
https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/loi/2020/7/30/2020-935/jo/article_66Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir" (Investment for the Future Programme)) and innovation for ecological transition
The 4th "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir" will mobilise €3.4bn in 2021-2023 on sectors, markets or technologies which are key to ecological transition, through support to intellectual property, skills, industrial capacity and exports of technologies and services. It targets, among others, carbon-free energy (including hydrogen), circular economy and recycling, sustainable transport and mobility, responsible agriculture and food, cities resilience to health and climate risks... Projects are selected through competitive processes, taking into account the sector and the maturity of innovations; they may come from companies, research labs or public entities, often through collaborations (between research labs and companies, between startups and large corporations).Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Sustainable finance (public/private)/market mechanisms/carbon pricingResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: New Bpifrance climate products
Bpifrance (the Public Investment Bank) will mobilise €2.5 of direct funding (debt and equity) for the ecological transition of companies, with a focus on SMEs and micro-enterprises, (building on €220m fundings of the State in 2020-2022).
The "Climate Plan" of Bpifrance will address three priorities:
- emergence and growth of greentechs
- increase in fundings for the renewable energy industry
- launch of the transiton of companies (through funding and support), through a "Green Loan" (improving the environmental performance of processes and products of SMEs) and a "Energy Saving Loan".Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
4.Other environmental measures
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Ecological transition and building renovation for SMEs, with a focus on agriculture and tourism sectors
Small and medium enterprises and micro enterprises account for 99,8% of French companies, 48% of private payroll employment and 40% of value added. With €200m:
- An incentive for renovation of buildings of tertiary SMEs will target heat insulation, cooling, ventilation, air treatment, in a swift and easy manner. Companies which will perform these renovation works will have to be certified in order to ensure their quality.
- 45 000 independent workers, traders and craftmen will be accompanied in their ecological transition through chambers of commerce and industry and craft associations.
- Lump sum aids will target the ecodesign of products and services by SMEs.
- Specific actions will favour sustainable tourism (waste management, reduction of carbon footprint...).Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Urban revitalisation and densification: Fund for reclamation of wasteland
A €300m fund will be dedicated to urban and industrial wasteland reclamation operations and land recycling (acquisition, safety, depollution and demolition works). It will be related to urban planning projects, revitalisation of town centres and relocation of activities.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Urban revitalisation and densification: Aid for densification
Housing demand is heterogenous accross territories, leading to extensive land use change. The measure is a lump sum aid for housing development. With €350m over 2 years, it supports limitation of land use change, so that cities are more compact.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Waste sorting, recycling and reclamation
Three activities will be supported:
1. Sorting of recyclable waste (financial aid for deploying waste sorting in the streets and modernising waste sorting centres)
2. Biowaste recovery (financial aid to local government authorities for collecting and processing waste from households and companies)
3. Energy recovery from solid recovery fuel (financial aid for investing in energy production units)
Support will come from an existing fund endowed with an extra €274m in 2020-2022.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Investments for reusing and recycling
Two activities will be supported:
1. Reusing and reducing the use of plastic, especially single-use plastic: financial aid will target the packaging industry (for R&D investment in alternatives to single-use plastic), repair centres, equipments that can substitue to the use of plastic, pilot projects in health facilities in switching from single-use plastic;
2. Recycling plastic: financial aid will target studies on the incorporation of recycled plastic, investment in adaptation of equipments in order to integrate more recycled plastic, etc.
Support will come from an existing fund endowed with an extra €226m in 2020-2022.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Acceleration of the agro-ecology transition for healthy, safe, sustainable, local and high-quality food for all
It is necessary to accelerate the agro-ecology transition of the agricultural and food system in order to better take into account services provided by agriculture. The following priorities will be fulfilled with €300m in 2021-2022:
- School kitchens of small municipalities
- Local projects in favour of organic farming, agro-ecology and food education
- Development of performant agricultural industries which better fit social expectations and provide better wages to producers
- Financial incentives to transform farms to organic agriculture or "high environmental standard" agriculture, and to plant hedges to increase biodiversity and carbon storage
- Advisory and training for farmers towards agro-ecology and in carbon assessmentContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Health security and wellbeing of animals in the livestock farming
Modernising the livestock farming industry meets environmental goals, reduces exposure to future health risks, and increases competitiveness. €250m in 2021-2022 will be devoted to:
- A "biosecurity and animal wellbeing Pact" with Regions aims at investing in prevention of animal diseases, training in biosecurity, research, water resource management and improvement of farming conditions
- Improvement of slaughter conditions
- Improvement of handling of abandoned animals and animals at the end of lifeContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: National strategy for vegetal proteins
The goal of the strategy is a better control on food production, a reduced dependency on imports, supporting resilience and sustainability of the French agriculture. It is also supportive of climate action, through relocation of livestock feeding and introduction of leguminous plants in crop rotations. Building on €100m in 2021-2022 and additional funds of the "Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir" (Investments for the Future Programme), the strategy will include:
- investments in farms and downstream entities of the industry,
- support to local food projects,
- promotion of leguminous plants-based products, training for cooks and food education,
- support of fundamental and applied research on leguminous plants.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Agricultural machinery fit for agro-ecology transition and adaptation to climate change
Modernising agricultural equipment aims to reduce or even abandon phytosanitary products and to gain resilience. With €250m, this measure will include public support for:
- purchase of material in order to reduce the use of inputs,
- development of machinery contributing to ecological transition and training
- investment in machinery in order to enhance resilience and face climate hazards such as freeze, hail and draughtContact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponse Recovery RedesignRecovery plan: Support forest adaptation to climate change to better enhance climate change mitigation
Public and private forest owners will be supported in order to enhance the resilience and climate regulation services of forest ecosystems: diversification of tree varieties, planting more resilient varieties, shifting sylviculture towards softwood lumber (which has better sequestration and substitution potential in the long run). This measure will also support in particular the sector of forest seeds and seedlings production, the wood transformation industry, the use of wood in construction. In 2021-2022 €200m will be devoted to this measure.Contact Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignSupport for international exports: Doubling of the FASEP (Studies and Assistance Fund for Private Sector) envelope (50 M€), in order to increase French support to exporters positioning themselves on infrastructure projects in emerging countries facing ever-increasing competition and to enable the financing of studies for infrastructures and demonstrators for innovative technologies, particularly in terms of technological transition.
Inclusive ActionResponse Recovery RedesignMeasures proposed by the Climate Citizen Convention
The French Government will implement measures proposed in June 2020 by the Climate Citizen Convention (Convention citoyenne pour le climat) aiming at tackling climate change and environment issues in all economic sectors.Reference https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/convention-citoyenne-climat-146-propositions-retenues-emmanuel-macronContact Ministry for Ecological Transition
SolidarityResponse Recovery RedesignCohesion is one of the 3 priorities which underpins France's recovery plan with the aim to reinforce concurrently social and territorial recovery. The plan provides for a series of solidarity measures, which will make it possible to better support and accompany young people and the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, towards employment in all territories and at all levels. Emphasis will be placed in particular on training young people in strategic and promising sectors, assistance with recruitment, safeguarding jobs and maintaining skills.Reference https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/le-ministere-en-action/relance-activite/plan-1jeune-1solution/Contact Ministry for the Ecological Transition
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