Geopolitical Informations

64.71 million (2016)
Total area
640,679 km2

Main legislative bodies

  • Parliament (bicameral)

Latest News

France advances phase out of hydrocarbons production by 2040

French Minister of Ecological and Social Transition Nicolas Hulot on Wednesday (Sept. 6) presented a draft bill  to phase out oil and gas exploration and production on French territories by 2040. The bill, presented to France’s Council of Ministers, is the first step to keep the campaign promises of Emmanuel Macron and was anticipated in read more…

French government to step up efforts on climate policy and green economy

In the country of origin of the Paris Agreement, the new government aims to take the assignment of the treaty seriously: a set of policies have been announced to put France at the forefront of climate action and to convert the country into the number one green economy. This greatly contrasts with recent developments in read more…

Pioneering law against food waste passed in France

On Wednesday (Feb. 3rd), the French Senate definitively passed a law including a series of measures against food waste. The regulation, unanimously approved by both the National Assembly (last May) and the Senate, obliges supermarkets to donate unsold food rather than destroying or throwing it away. Overall, the law sets a four-step hierarchy of actions read more…

Climate Policy Facts


Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 529.17 9.06 309.31
1991 556.55 9.5 321.97
1992 542 9.21 308.98
1993 522.27 8.84 299.74
1994 517.85 8.73 290.67
1995 526.39 8.84 289.54
1996 539.4 9.03 293.56
1997 530.98 8.86 282.8
1998 556.57 9.25 286.74
1999 548.63 9.07 273.64
2000 542.6 8.91 261.03
2001 547.14 8.92 258.47
2002 538.17 8.71 251.89
2003 543.02 8.72 251.89
2004 541.91 8.64 245.14
2005 543.14 8.6 241.29
2006 535.58 8.42 232.2
2007 529.67 8.27 224.51
2008 527.03 8.19 223.57
2009 505.27 7.81 221.3
2010 513.23 7.89 220.98

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.



Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 194,373 12610,847
Oil 974,006 70265,915
Natural gas 289,277 38809,027
Nuclear 110414,879 110414,879
Hydro 6132,918 6132,918
Geothermal 187,864 187,864
Solar thermal 86,732 86,732
Solar photovoltaics 401,018 401,018
Tide, wave, ocean 39,044 39,044
Wind 1366,282 1366,282
Biomass 10544,333 10544,333
Biofuels 2852,377 3122,44
Waste 2473,156 2473,156

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

Energy data refers to year 2013.

National Policy


According to its constitution, France is an “indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic” with a semi-presidential, parliamentary system. The bicameral parliament consists of the National Assembly and the Senate, which have the legislative power. Elections for the National Assembly have taken place the last time in June 2017. The members of the Senate are elected indirectly by the Members of Parliament and by local representatives.

In the French legal system, the differentiation between laws and regulations is crucial. While laws determine the general principles and rules, regulations lay out the details for their implementation. However, regulations can also address issue-areas that are not yet covered by laws. Whereas laws have to be passed in the parliament, regulations do not require the approval of the both chambers.

The current president of France and hence head of state is Emmanuel Macron. The French president has quite significant powers in comparison with many other European countries. For instance, the president can choose the Prime Minister, but the National Assembly can also dismiss the Prime Minister’s government. When the majority of the Assembly supports the president – as it is currently the case for Macron and his party En Marche, he or she can direct government policy.

Emmanuel Macron has pledged to promote international cooperation in climate change. Macron wants to phase-out coal power by 2022, double renewable energy capacity by 2022 and raise the carbon price to 100 euros per tonne until 2030. He also announced that he would stick to the target of reducing the share of nuclear power in the electricity mix to 50 percent by 2025. Moreover, he has designated Nicolas Hulot as minister for energy and ecology, who is a well-known environmental campaigner in France.

France is a member of the European Union. Therefore, the EU legislation applies to the country.


As a EU Member State, France submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, in advance to the COP21 in Paris (see section on ‘International Policy’).

French National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) 2016
The Energy Transition Law of 2015 (see below) demanded the creation of a longer-term strategy and is thus the basis of the National Low-Carbon Strategy. As a consequence, the strategy reflects the carbon budgets established in the Energy Transition Law for the periods 2015-2018, 2019-2023 and 2024-2028. At the same time, the document in the present case serves as the long-term low greenhouse gas development strategy as required under Article 4.19 of the Paris Agreement and has thus been submitted to the UNFCCC. The strategy includes the French long-term target of cutting GHG emissions by 75 percent by 2050 compared to 1990, which has been included in numerous legislative instruments already before. The document investigates on two possible scenarios – one with existing measures under the Energy Transition law and one with additional measures. As such, the strategy is non-prescriptive and does not represent a concrete action plan. Instead, it constitutes a reference for orientation purposes and presents a possible path for achieving the targets set. It includes cross-cutting and sectoral recommendations.
The cross-cutting recommendations include the following:

  • Reducing the carbon footprint (i.e. taking into account indirect emissions) by conducting life-cycle analyses of policies and mainstreaming climate considerations into economic decisions.
  • Redirecting investments in support of the energy transition by developing quality labels, guaranteeing use of public funds, divesting of public institutional investors and pricing carbon emissions.
  • Development of the bio-economy with bio-sourced products and sustainable land management.
  • Supporting regional projects and initiatives, including piloting programmes.
  • Encouraging the development and dissemination of future technologies through Research & Development (R&D) and training policies

The sectoral recommendations include targets and measures of the reference scenarios:

  • In the transport sector, the target is to reduce GHG emissions by 29 percent until 2028 compared to 2013 and by at least 70 percent until 2050. In order to attain this goal, the energy efficiency of vehicles shall be improved, the uptake of low-emission vehicles accelerated and the demand for mobility curbed through urban planning and carpooling. Moreover, alternatives to the private car and modal shifts shall be promoted through instruments such as tax incentives for cycling, the development of public transport and the shift of freight towards rails and waterways.
  • Emissions in the building sector shall be cut by 54 percent until 2028 compared to 2013 and by at least 87 percent until 2050. Additionally, the energy consumption shall be reduced by 28 percent by 2030 compared to 2010. This requires the implementation of the 2012 Thermal Regulation (see below), the renovation of the entire building stock until 2050 and a better management of energy consumption. The latter shall be achieved through information disclosure for consumers, eco-design, labelling and smart metering.
  • In the AFOLU sector (agriculture, forestry and land use), emissions shall be reduced by more than 12 percent by 2028 compared to 2013 and by 50 percent until 2050. Further, carbon shall be stored and conserved in different ecosystems. For this purpose, agro-ecology projects shall be implemented, which aim at developing crop-growing and livestock practices with lower emissions, optimising the use of inputs and relying upon production techniques adapted to climate change. Additionally, a higher efficiency in the food supply chain is strived for. Besides, significant increases in the amount of wood harvested shall support the development of bio-sourced products leading to substitution effects (without endangering food security) and carbon storage. This requires monitoring of sustainability and tax frameworks for the promotion of bio-based resources.
  • In the industry, emissions shall be cut by 24 percent until 2028 and by 75 percent between by 2050 compared to 2016. Therefore, demand for energy and materials have to be controlled and the transition to a circular economy promoted. In addition, the EU ETS shall make a contribution to achieve the targets.
  • Energy emissions shall be kept below 2013 levels in the short-term. Until 2050, the sector shall be decarbonised almost completely (96 percent emission reduction compared to 1990 levels). Thus, the need arises to largely improve energy efficiency and to generate energy from renewable energies. For the latter, energy system flexibility shall be improved to enable an increased share of renewable energies. Moreover, investments in new fossil fuel facilities should be avoided “as much as possible” and emissions of existing facilities should be reduced. Also the deployment of CCS (carbon capture and storage) is intended to contribute a significant share.
  • In the waste sector, emissions shall be reduced by 33 percent until 2028 and by at least 80 percent by 2050. For this purpose, the production of waste shall be reduced and prevented through the extension of product life spans, eco-design and re-use. Moreover, resource recovery has to be increased through the recycling of waste. Methane emissions from landfill sites shall be reduced and incineration without energy recovery stopped.

Full document available here. A summary of the main points is accessible here.

Climate Plan 2004 (last revised in 2013)
The basic French approach to climate change is defined by a Climate Plan, which is updated every two years, as requested by the Energy Policy Framework Law of 2005 (see below). The last revision was made in 2013. In 2004, the process started as a means to attain the Kyoto Protocol pledges. The plan hence gathers all the actions conducted in the various sectors of the economy to curb GHG emissions in accordance with national targets. Thus, it serves as a policy framework for national laws and regulations. The Climate Plan operates in complementarity with the National Adaptation Plan (see below), which covers the 2011-2015 period. Moreover, local authorities are encouraged to adopt the same process with territorial climate plans.
The Climate Plan 2004 was the first version. It aimed to reinforce the National programme for Tackling Climate Change (see below) and defined the target to reduce GHG emissions by 75 percent until 2050 compared to 1990 as well as to cut CO2 emissions by 72 million tonnes per year until 2010. It represents the basis of the French Allocation Plan 2005-2007 (see below) and for several measures built on in the Energy Policy Framework (see below).
The Climate Plan of 2013 addresses nine action areas, namely transport, the residential sector, industry and energy generation, agriculture, forestry, waste, the exemplary function of the public sector, business and research. It gives an overview of existing targets contained in different legislative instruments of the different issue-areas linked to climate change and evaluates the process achieved.
A brochure on the undertakings and results of the Climate Plans is available as pdf.

National Environment Conference 2012
At the conference, several climate and energy governance measures were announced. These include for instance the demand that France advocates for an emission reduction target of 40 percent in 2030 and 60 percent in 2040 on the EU level. Moreover, a “carbon inclusion mechanism” should be established for sectors exposed to international trade suffering from carbon leakage. In addition, continued support should be provided for wind and solar power, but also tenders should be issued for offshore wind farms. Last but not least, a target for heavy vehicles to consume no more than two litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres within the following ten years was postulated.

National Programme for Tackling Climate Change 2000
The National Programme for Tackling Climate Change was one of the first measures initiated to tackle climate change in France. Many of the actions and targets included therein were later incorporated in other laws and regulations, or they were abandoned. The Climate Plan 2004 (see above) builds upon the National Programme for Tackling Climate Change.


Due to the large share of nuclear energy and hydropower, France has the lowest per capita GHG emissions and the third lowest emission intensity of OECD countries.

Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth 2015
Between November 2012 and July 2013, a National Debate on Energy Transition was held, focussing on the three topics renewable energies, energy efficiency in the housing sector and nuclear energy. As a result, recommendations were made for policy-makers, which have contributed to the adoption of the Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth (Law No. 2015-992), mostly named simply as Energy Transition Law.
This law includes provisions on eight major topics: the future design of the energy system, energy efficiency in the building sector, clean transportation, waste management and circular economy, renewable energies, nuclear safety, simplification of administrative procedures and the involvement of citizens, companies, local and national authorities in taking action. With respect to the first point, the law aims to diversify the energy mix of France and to contribute to GHG emissions reductions for tackling climate change. The following goals are included in the law:

  • Reduction of the share of nuclear energy in the energy mix from 75 to 50 percent by 2025 (as it was recommended following the above-mentioned debates);
  • Reduction of total energy consumption by 20 percent by 2030 and by 50 percent until 2050;
  • Reduction of GHG emissions by 40 percent until 2030 compared to 1990 and by 75 percent by 2050;
  • Reduction of fossil fuel consumption by 30 percent by 2030;
  • Achievement of a minimum share of 32 percent of renewables in the energy consumption by 2030 (40 percent of electricity, 38 percent of heat consumption and 15 percent in transportation);
  • Reaching the energy renovation of 500,000 residential houses from 2017, including at least 50 percent of houses occupied by low-income households.
  • Decoupling of economic growth and the consumption of raw materials by increasing the ratio of GDP to domestic material consumption by 30 percent until 2030 compared to 2010, by decreasing domestic material consumption per capita (with respect to consumer products, food waste and electronic waste) and by increasing recycling rates. In addition, state services and local authorities shall decrease their office paper consumption by 30 percent until 2020. By 2017 at least 25 percent and by 2020 at least 40 percent of paper products should be recycled, with the remainder stemming from sustainably managed forests. Last but not least, free-sale pesticides shall be reduced and aerial spraying of pesticides be phased-out by 2017 to reduce pollution and protect biodiversity.

In order to define how to achieve the targets with general and sector-based policies, a Low-Carbon National Strategy (see above) shall be set up. Moreover, the law includes carbon budgets for the periods 2015-2018, 2019-2023 and 2024-2028, which define the upper limit of domestic GHG emissions that should not be exceeded.
With respect to implementation, several provisions are included in the law. For instance, simplified administrative procedures for onshore windfarms and a general permitting process for renewables are supposed to support the expansion of renewable energies. Local authorities are put into a position to mandate the integration of renewable energy sources and energy upgrades of buildings. The latter is financially support by the government with a 30 percent tax credit for retrofitting, and respective administrative procedures are simplified. Additionally, municipalities obtain greater authorities with respect to district heating and cooling systems. The law also defines minimum energy consumption requirements for public buildings and extends the ones for social housing. Furthermore, the law mandates the installation of smart meters.
Besides, the law includes a clean transport programme that incentivises the purchase of low-emission vehicles. For instance, zero-interest eco-loans for electric cars are introduced as a fiscal incentive. Seven million charging stations and dedicated parking places shall be installed for vehicles with alternative drives. In public procurement, electric and low-carbon vehicles shall be prioritised as well. Moreover, taxi and rental companies need to reach a minimum of 10 percent of respective cars in their fleets. In addition, municipalities are authorised to reduce traffic speeds on city routes and to introduce bans against polluting vehicles. If the latter is chosen, public transportation is cheapened. Urban planning of the transport system shall be improved to reduce air pollution and traffic volume in general.
What is more, the law requires investors to disclose information on the environmental and climate impact of their investment portfolios. Additionally, educational and financial projects should be initiated to provide assistance for citizens that plan to retrofit their houses and for the installation of renewable energy sources.
Beyond that, the law promotes waste reduction and resource savings, as indicated by the last bullet point of the targets contained in the law. For this purpose, the production, distribution, sale, provisions and use of packaging or bags made from plastic are prohibited, also in supermarkets. In addition, a better monitoring of waste has to be ensured.
Full document available here (in French).

National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) 2014
The latest NEEAP for France was issued in 2014 and sets a number of policies in place across all sectors, particularly ambitious targets for retrofitting buildings and efficiency standards for new buildings. National objectives in relation to the building, transport, industry and agricultural sector are either defined or reiterated. Most notably, the national plan aims to meet the requirements set in the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), which imposed a 17.4 percent reduction of final energy consumption by 2020. This corresponds to a primary energy consumption of 236.3 Mtep and a final energy consumption of 131.4 Mtep in 2020. An intermediate target of 9 percent saving in final use by 2016 is also defined.
Financial incentives and auditing procedures are put in place in the industry and the tertiary sector, although exceptions and rate reductions for some forms of natural gas and electricity use are given as well. No targets have yet been specified in terms of energy saving obligations on industry, although both voluntary agreements and binding targets are mentioned in the plan.
Full document available as pdf.

Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariffs (2006, last updated 2014)
The scheme, which was introduced in 2006, covers the full range of renewable energy sources, including hydro, geothermal, wind, solar PV and biomass. It provides financial support for 15 or 20 years depending on the source type. This provision encompasses previous feed-in tariff measures issued in 2001 and 2002 under the framework of the Electricity Law of 2000.
In March 2011, the solar PV supporting scheme was improved through the Decree 12/01/2010, which introduced a new feed-in tariff for solar PV installations with a size lower than 100 kW and established a tender process for installations larger than 100 kW. Tariff rates vary according to the installation size and are set to decrease by about 10 percent annually in case the total annual installed capacity reaches the threshold level of 200 MW for residential and 200 MW for non-residential installations. Tariffs for solar PV and wind were last adjusted in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Decree 12/01/2010 available as pdf (in French); 2012 revision of solar PV feed-in tariff available as pdf (in French).

Thermal Regulation 2012
The Thermal Regulation of 2012 replaces respective regulations from 1974 until 2005. It introduces more stringent requirements for thermal insulations and heating systems to improve the energy efficiency in the building sector. As such, it aims to reduce the energy consumption in buildings by 150 billion kWh between 2013 and 2020. Moreover, it requires an improvement of thermal efficiency of new buildings by 15 percent compared to 2000. In addition to minimum energy efficiency and energy use requirements, the regulation defines requirements for the general building quality, gives preference to renewable energies and promotes building energy production beyond self-sufficiency. It is complemented by the creation of two labels.
The development of a Thermal Regulation 2020 is currently under way. It will require new buildings to be energy-positive, meaning that they shall produce more energy than it is consumed by the inhabitants.
More information is available on the official website on the Thermal Regulations.

Grenelle I Law No. 2009-967 (2009) and Grenelle II Law No. 2010-788 (2010)
An extensive legislative process was initiated in 2007 with discussions in several working groups, involving several stakeholder groups. One of the working groups specifically addressed climate change. Upon the conclusion of the round tables of the Grenelle Environment Forum and public consultations, the first Grenelle Law (No. 2009-967) was issued. The law reinforced the recommendations of the Climate Plan, identifying principles and commitments that were subsequently adopted in the Grenelle II Law. Moreover, it established the National Committee on Sustainable Development and the Environment as the authority for monitoring the implementation of the Grenelle Laws and setting strategies for sustainable development. The committee is chaired by the Ministry of Environment and consists of inter-ministerial delegates, state representatives and members of the private sector, unions and environmental NGOs as well as youth and other civil society representatives. Principles and commitments specified in the law include fighting climate change, preserving biodiversity and ecosystems, prevention of environmental risks and ecological democracy. The targets specifically relating to climate change are the following:

  • Prioritise action in the building sector to tackle climate change, including a target of reducing energy consumption in old buildings by 38 percent by 2020, the goal of reaching 400,000 thermal renovations per year from 2013 on and the launch of a programme to renovate social housing for 800,000 households.
  • Harmonise policy and urban planning.
  • Reduce GHG emissions by 20 percent until 2020 in the transport sector and reduce dependency on fossil fuels in the sector. For this purpose, an eco-tax for heavy vehicles was introduced in 2011. Moreover, the targets of increasing the share of non-road and non-aviation transport in passenger from 14 percent in 2009 to 25 percent by 2022 and in freight to 25 percent by 2012 is defined. EUR 2.5 billion shall be provided by 2020 for urban public transport systems (including suburban and high speed systems). The fuel consumption per passenger and kilometre shall be reduced by 50 percent and the total fuel consumption in aviation transport as well by 50 percent.
  • Renewable energies are supposed to reach a share of 23 percent in the energy mix by 2020.
  • Energy efficiency in the public sector shall be improved by 20 percent until 2015.
  • The French overseas territories shall become more energy autonomous (50 percent by 2020).

The Grenelle II Law (No. 2010-788) stems from the work of Grenelle I and specifies more precisely the policies to be undertaken based on the principles stated in the former law. Similarly to Grenelle I, it covers a wide range of environmental topics with a particular focus on energy efficiency improvements in the building sector and transportation. Next to the development of urban public transport systems and the encouragement of rail freight and shipping, the law aims to promote electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids as well as to provide for the experimentation of congestion charging measures. But the law also includes regulations of experimental carbon storage installations. Moreover, actions included in the law encompass the promotion of efficient urban land resources and energy use and the improvement of environmental labelling of products. On a practical level, the measures implemented strengthen the connection of renewable energy to the energy network, ease the administrative burden for and provide support to wind power, grant fiscal incentives for solar power and expand the existing energy efficiency certification schemes. The law transposes various EU directives to the national level, including the Climate Action and Renewable Energy package.
Grenelle I available as pdf (in French); Grenelle II available as pdf (in French).

Financial Law No. 2010-237
The law establishes the French Programme of Investments for the Future (PIA), under whose framework EUR 2.45 billion are allocated to provide financial support to the green economy. Funds are granted to an array of initiatives including renewable energy and green chemistry (EUR 1.1 billion), smart grids (EUR 165 million), circular economy (EUR 210 million), and low-carbon vehicles (EUR 950 million).
Full document available as pdf (in French).

National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) 2009-2020
The NREAP implements the requirements defined in the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) at the national level. The targets set in the NREAP do not exceed those defined in the Directive. Various incentives schemes are adopted to attain the targets, including administrative easing, tax reliefs, grants, investments in infrastructure and funds to R&D. Renewable energy sources contributing to achieve the target are hydropower, wind, solar, biomass, maritime and geothermal power.
Full document available as pdf.

Decree 15/12/2009 on multi-year planning for electricity production investments
The disposition sets a series of targets for national renewable energy capacity in the time frame 2009-2020. The 2020 targets are specified by resource type as follows:

  • Total capacity of 5.4 GW of solar power;
  • Increase of 2.3 GW of biomass capacity;
  • Total capacity of 19 GW of onshore wind power;
  • Total capacity of 6 GW of offshore wind power and other maritime capacity;
  • Increase of 3 GW of hydropower capacity.

Full document available as pdf (in French).

Finance Law No. 2008-1425
The Finance law sets out various measures to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. An eco-loan for energy efficiency (éco-PTZ) provides a zero-interest loan up to EUR 30,000 for renovation activities, such as thermal insulation and heating/hot water system installation or improvement. Biofuel use is encouraged through an instrument that grants progressively reduced consumption taxes for Ethanol E85 and other biofuel categories.
Full document available as pdf (in French).

Energy Policy Framework Law No. 2005-781 (POPE)
The law, which was adopted after two years of public debate, defines the national energy priorities and sets out the objectives and orientations for future energy policy. The priorities include to reduce national energy dependency and diversify the existing energy supply mix, to ensure competitive power prices, to develop new technologies and to tackle climate change. A target of meeting 10 percent of the domestic energy demand with renewable energy is set for 2010, with the objective of diversifying the energy mix through an increase of renewable energy sources. Other targets commit to attain a yearly rate of energy intensity decrease of 2 percent by 2015 and of 2.5 percent by 2030, to reduce GHG emission by 3 percent annually and to reduce total GHG emission by 75 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
The law introduces various incentive mechanisms proposed in the 2004 Climate Plan (see above), such as tax exemptions for solar power and energy efficient equipment and devices, energy labelling for buildings and cars, and a White Certificate programme for energy firms. Furthermore, it established the High Council on Energy, which is responsible for the management of all aspects of the energy policy. In addition, information and awareness raising campaigns were part of the framework. Moreover, the EU Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings is implemented at the national level. Besides, the framework requires the government to issue a Climate Action Plan every two years.
The Energy Transition Law (see above) updated many of the provisions and targets enshrined in the Energy Policy Framework of 2005.
Full document available as pdf (in French).


The Grenelle laws (see above) implemented a carbon tax of EUR 7 in 2014, EUR 14.50 in 2015 and EUR 22 in 2016. The tax was withdrawn due to the opposition of the industrial sector, which was worried about its negative economic impact on competitiveness, but re-introduced in 2014. Also the Energy Transition Law includes provisions on the carbon tax. Accordingly, the tax shall rise from the already stipulated EUR 14.50 in 2015 to EUR 56 in 2020 and EUR 100 in 2030.

French National Allocation Plan 2005-2007
The plan implemented the 2003 EU Directive creating the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). However, the scope was enlarged to installations of other sectors not included in the ETS (e.g. chemicals, agriculture and food systems, and services).


Several policies and laws include provisions for the transport sectors, such as the Energy Transition Law, the National Low-Carbon Strategy or the Grenelle laws (see above). In addition, the provisions of the EU Renewable Energy Directive apply to France, which aims at establishing sustainable transportation policies.

Bonus-Malus Vehicle Consumption System (2007, last updated 2015)
The system provides an incentive to buy vehicles with low CO2 emissions. Until 2013, a bonus was granted to purchasers that acquired a vehicle emitting less than 105g CO2/km, whereas a penalty to acquisitions of vehicles emitting more than 135g CO2/km applied in form of a progressively growing purchase tax. The system was last updated in 2015 by adjusting the bonus incentives, which are now granted to vehicles emitting up to 60g CO2/km and giving additional incentives to hybrid vehicles. Currently the penalty system applies to vehicles with emissions higher than 130g CO2/km.


Again, several policies mentioned above, such as the Energy Transition Law, include provisions on the waste sector to reduce GHG emissions. To implement a sustainable waste management system is also one of the key objectives of the Grenelle laws (see above). In the first Grenelle Law the following targets were defined:

  • Reduction of household waste by 7 percent per capita between 2009 and 2014;
  • Reduction of landfilled or incinerated waste of 15 percent between 2009 and 2012;
  • Increase the material and organic recycling rate to 35 percent by 2012.

In addition, various economic schemes (collection payment systems) and waste prevention plans were included in the law.
According to European waste directives, France shall improve its waste management practices in relation to waste prevention and re-use, recycling of various waste fractions, extended producer responsibility (EPR) and landfilling. In particular, the EU set out a 50 percent recycling target for household waste, which France is striving to achieve.

Act to Combat Food Waste 2016
The law obliges supermarkets larger than 400 square metres to make use of unsold food rather than destroying it or throwing it way. The supermarkets can either donate the food for human consumption, dispense it for the recovery as animal feed or pass it on to use it as compost in agriculture or for energy recovery. Donations are simplified to incentivise the granting for charities.
However, priority is given to prevent food waste. For instance, an education programme focusing on food waste prevention in schools and businesses is included in the regulation as well. As such, the law is part of an initiative to half food waste until 2025. Moreover, the law is the first of its kind in the world.
Full document available here (in French).


Preservation of habitats and biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and forest management are issues that France addresses through its flagship legislation, such as in the Grenelle laws (see above).
Moreover, France plays a leading role in European forest management. Since its start in 1990, France has been proactively involved in the discussions of the Helsinki Process, which defines guidelines, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and protection of biodiversity.
At the national level, the Forest Code regulates public and private forestry and defines entities in charge of its management.

Law on the Future of Farming, Forestry and Alimentation 2014
The law includes targets and policies for the national agriculture and forest policy. As such, it shall guarantee for sustainable management practices in agriculture and forestry. It represents the framework document laying down the responsibilities of the Forest Law and also strives to support adaptation measures.
Full document available here (in French).

Farming Policy Framework Law 2006
The Farming Policy Framework Law (Law No. 2006-11) sets out the main targets and policies in relation to agriculture. Ambitious targets in relation to biofuels are set out in the law, aiming to reach a 7 percent share of biofuels in total fuel use by 2010, thus exceeding the EU target set by the Biofuels Directive (2003/30/EC) at 5.75 percent.
Full document available as pdf (in French).


There are many research institutions, projects and initiatives addressing climate change. In many cases, the French Centre for Scientific Research funds the respective programmes and institutions. These include:

  • ECLIPSE (Past Environment and Climate History and Evolution)
  • GICC (Management and Impact of Climate Change)
  • PNEDC (National Programme of Climate Dynamics)
  • PATOM (Mid-Scale Atmosphere and Ocean Programme)
  • PROOF (Biogeochemical Processes in Ocean and Fluxes)
  • PNCA (National Programme of Atmospheric Chemistry)
  • PNRH (National Programme in Hydrology Research)
  • PNTS (National Programme of Space Teledetection)


National Adaptation Plan 2011-2015
The National Adaptation Plan aims to present concrete and consistent measures to prepare for the negative impacts and to exploit potential positive impacts of climate change. The plan covers the 5-year period from 2011 to 2015 and identifies 230 adaptation measures in 20 key fields for action. The plan dedicates EUR 171 million for cross-cutting actions, health, water, biodiversity, natural hazards, agriculture, forests, fisheries and aquaculture, energy and industry, transport infrastructures, urban planning and the built environment, tourism, information, education and training, research, funding and insurance, coastlines, mountains, European and international actions, and governance. In addition, there are also a Drought Plan and a Rapid Flooding Plan.
The plan deals with measures on the national scale, while the regional responsibilities lie with the Regional Climate, Air and Energy Programmes and the Regional Climate-Energy Plans. The plan is the successor of the National Adaptation Strategy 2006, which set the framework for climate adaptation in France. As such, it defined the responsibilities between the national, regional and local levels, determined the overarching principles and strategic directions and provided for the engagement of multiple stakeholders in respective actions.
Full document available as pdf, including the annex with the description of the actions and measures.


Profile of France at the IEA website

French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy webpage (in French)

The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study 4th Edition (2014) and profile of France on the website of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Profile of France at the European Climate Adaptation Platform website

Mathieu, C. (2016): ‘France: Reducing Nuclear Dominance and Promoting a Low-Carbon Energy System’. In: Roehrkasten, S., Thielges, S. and Quitzow, R. (2016): ‘Sustainable Energy in the G20. Prospects for a Global Energy Transition’, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam.

International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC (Annex I):
    • Date of signature: 13 June 1992
    • Date of ratification: 25 March 1994
    • Date of entry into force: 23 June 1994
  • Member of the Kyoto Protocol:
    • Date of signature: 29 April 1998
    • Date of ratification: 31 May 2002
    • Date of entry into force: 16 February 2005
    • Date of acceptance of Doha Amendment: —
    • During the first commitment period until 2012, the EU as a whole committed to reduce its emissions by 8 percent compared to 1990 levels. France has met its national goal to contribute to this target of reducing GHG emissions by 12 percent compared to 1990. During the second commitment period until 2020, the EU as a whole has to reduce its emissions by 20 percent compared to 1990 levels. Following the Effort Sharing Decision of the EU, France needs to reduce its GHG emissions by 14 percent compared to 2005 levels until 2020. The country is on track to meet this objective.
  • Signatory of the Copenhagen Accord (according to the communication of the EU, it is strived for a 20 percent reduction compared to 1990 on the level of the EU as the Copenhagen Pledge; 30 percent in the case of comparable commitments by other industrialised countries and adequate contributions by advanced developing countries)
  • Party to the Paris Agreement:
  • Post 2020 action

    • The EU submitted its Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) in advance of COP21 (Paris), on 6 March 2015 as the first Party (for more information on INDCs see here). Following the ratification and the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the INDC has become the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of the EU. The collective target of the EU in its INDC is to reduce emissions by 40 percent until 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
    • France has submitted its own Nationally-Determined Contribution (NDC) on the date of its ratification of the Paris Agreement. The NDC covers the French jurisdictions overseas, which are not part of the EU and thus not included in the NDC of the EU. These territories represented 1.4 percent of the total French GHG emissions in 2014. The jurisdictions include New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna.

Bilateral cooperation

  • Due to hosting COP21 in Paris, foreign policy on climate and energy has gained generally in importance. Ahead of COP21, France issued joint statements for instance with China, Kuwait, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
  • France has a longstanding experience in international energy cooperation, particularly in the area of nuclear energy. France is involved in many research activities, such as the construction of an experimental fusion power reactor (ITER) in southern France.
  • In September 2015, France announced to stop supporting any unabated coal power project overseas. Moreover, France has lobbied OECD member countries to adopt similar restrictions.
  • France was the third-largest provider of energy-related ODA in 2014. In 2015, former president Francois Hollande committed to increase the French climate finance from three to five billion euro per year by 2020.
  • France has been a supporter of several new climate initiatives launched at COP21. For example, it is a member of Mission Innovation and hence aims to double expenditures on clean energy research by 2020. Moreover, the country contributes to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and promotes carbon pricing through the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
  • Besides, France supports the focus of the G20 on green finance and has taken first steps to integrate climate considerations in financial decisions.
  • France is also member of the G7/G8, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
  • France forms part of the NDC Partnership, which assists countries in achieving their climate commitments and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • Moreover, France is a member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), which strives to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and HFCs. Fance has also joined the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).

Negotiating position

The EU constitutes itself one negotiation bloc in the international climate negotiations and always speaks solely with one voice. See thus the profile of the European Union for the negotiation positions of France in the international climate negotiations.



Website on climate of the French Diplomacy