France setting carbon budgets as part of new low-CO2 strategy

Published 14:45 on September 2, 2015  /  Last updated at 14:47 on September 2, 2015  /  EMEA, EU ETS  /  No Comments

France has prepared a series of carbon budgets that it will allocate to key sectors to help curb GHG emissions under the country’s new strategy to transition itself to a low-carbon economy, the French environment ministry said late on Tuesday.

France has prepared a series of carbon budgets that it will allocate to key sectors to help curb GHG emissions under the country’s new strategy to transition itself to a low-carbon economy, the French environment ministry said late on Tuesday.

The budgets, which form part of France’s National Low-Carbon Strategy (NLCS) to be published in the autumn, set GHG thresholds while providing sectoral and national guidelines on how to meet them.

Under the NLCS, which has been put up for public consultation until Sep. 22, the budgets would span three periods from 2015-2018, 2019-2023, and 2024-2028.

The initiative is aimed mainly at sectors not included in the EU ETS, and follows on from a sweeping energy bill passed by the government earlier this summer.

The new law outlines how France will cut its GHG output by 40% by 2030 and by 75% by 2050 (below 1990 levels), and includes targets to cut fossil fuel consumption by 30%, reduce nuclear power’s share of the energy mix to 50%, and halve overall energy use by mid-century.

The measures are being pushed through ahead of this year’s high-level UN summit in Paris, which kicks off in late November and will draw dozens of world leaders as negotiators attempt to finalise a new global climate treaty.

Carbon budgets can act as milestones on a decarbonisation roadmap, ensuring that progress is continuously being made towards longer-term targets while providing clarity for industry, consumers and investors.

The approach is one used by countries such as the UK, which has bound itself under its Climate Change Act to cut its 1990-level GHGs by 35% by 2020, 50% by 2025, and 80% by 2050.

The UK is currently in the midst of its second carbon budget, which runs from 2013 to 2017 and features a carbon budget amount of 2.782 billion tonnes of CO2e – equivalent to a 29% cut below 1990.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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