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Local Policy

Paris is a 2.27 million inhabitants city inside a 10.8 million inhabitants metropolitan area. According to EUROSTAT, the metropolitan area of Paris produced € 623,189.44 in 2012. Following the National Plan for Climate launched in 2004, Paris drew its first local climate and energy plan (called PCET) as it was recommended by the national law. The PCET covers mitigation and adaptation strategy for the metropolitan area.

The City of Paris is currently implementing its strategy inside the municipality borders, but the recent territorial reform will give environmental management competences to the metropolitan area of Grand Paris. The neighbouring localities should therefore be integrated in the process.



Paris’s actual PCET was edited in 2012 and targets a 25% emissions reduction by 2020 compared to 2004 levels. On the one hand, local authorities of Paris have rely on traditional urban policy and legal regulation for mitigation. Engaging a reform of the local urban regulation was the first step toward the implementation of housing programmes such as retrofitting or equipping buildings with solar panels promoted by fiscal incentives and regulatory measures.

On the other hand, aiming at developing eco-sectors, Paris aims at developing competitive clusters of green economy launched and several supportive programmes targeting innovative small and medium-sized businesses (SME)[1]. More than just a financial support, those programmes provide offices and logistical support to SME’s. Furthermore, the programmes are also targeting Engineering Schools and researchers by financing projects dealing with sustainable development in the municipality.


The plan is partly financed by the City’s budget, the private fund created by public authorities, and other subventions provided by the county, the region and the state. Paris made the choice to include costs of the PCET in the own budget of each department involved. The largest investments included in the Paris Climate Plan are targeting housing and energy networks. Paris authorities are planning to invest €800 million on energy transition[2](investment plan). Inter alia, this plan is comprised of a €65 million dedicated to renovate 2.000 heating plants, the rehabilitation of 200 schools before 2020, and €35 million to support the thermal renovation of 30.000 housing.

The PCET includes a large programme of various incentives and financial support for private initiatives in many sectors. Housing sector is mainly targeted by those programmes, but also other eco-sectors such as eco-tourism, clean transports. Paris Action Climat is an agreement signed by private partners whose are all big businesses (LVMH, AirFrance, Bouygues, EDF, etc.).

“By signing this Agreement, Partners undertake to run their businesses in keeping with the Paris Climate and Energy Action Plan objectives, i.e. controlling their energy consumption and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.”[3] Following the process of the agreement, businesses will commit to emission reduction targets for 2020 proposed on their initiative, they have to report their achievements through a quantitative and qualitative assessment on an annual basis.

Best Practice

Paris adopted a local Climate Bonds scheme, following the example of Gothenburg and Johannesburg, which implemented urban  climate bonds in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Paris’s Climate Bonds specifically target the financing of city climate action project, the PCET. Launched in November 2015, the first issuance of “climate bonds” reached $336 million, and became the largest insurances of green city bonds to date[4]. Further to enhancing (or creating) a green at financing the Paris Climate Action Plan. The Challenge is to persuade private and institutional investors with attractive rates and guarantees. This policy will be evaluated with the publication of a yearly audit on all supported projects from a environmental and economical criteria.



The adaptation strategy included in the PCET was launched in 2012 and updated in 2015 based on the acknowledgment that the city is a quite robust and resilient to extreme natural events.

In 2012, the national meteorological institute, Météo-France, provided climate projections for the period until 2100 for the metropolitan area,  identifying several climate change impacts related to natural hazards (heat waves, droughts, flash floods, and violent storms) threatening water and energy supply, health, large infrastructures, transports, housing and waste management. However, Paris’s vulnerability to these risks has been judged medium[5].

Some actions depicted in the adaptation strategy:

  • Protection of inhabitants against hazardous extreme events by raising awareness through information campaigns and enforcement of crisis management plans.
  • Promote local energy and food production by creating 33 acres of urban agriculture before 2020.
  • Enforce water supply security by addressing leaks in the distribution system, drilling new wellbore in deep groundwater, and promoting the use of non-potable water.
  • Adding more than 30 hectares of green spaces to reduce heat islands effect.
  • Creating new swimming pools and “cool pathways” for citizens to counter heat waves.


Compared to the mitigation plan, the 35 initiatives of the adaptation plan are projected to need less investment from the local authorities because of the regulatory nature of most of them.  The largest investments will be directed to public infrastructures such as greening the city and global access to water and cooling areas. As the biggest threat to Paris is the significant increase in hot waves, the cost of adaptation measures is mainly linked to reducing the urban heat island effect adopting, for instance a €57 million investment plan to build new swimming pools[6]. in 2012 and 2013, Paris invested €50,4 million to create 27,1 ha more of green spaces open to the public with the aim of greening and cooling the city,.

Best Practice

Greening Permits is an initiative included in  the City’s overall greening plan, adopted in 2015. Paris is subject to urban heat island effect and a predicted increase in heat waves over the next decades. The Adaptation Strategy has planned to add 30 more hectares of green spaces to reduce the urban heat island effect. The initiative gives citizens the opportunity to apply for permits for planting in public spaces and infrastructures. Permits are given for a 3 years period, with an option of tacit renewal. Authorities provide topsoil and seeds with every permit delivered. Permits are issued to the citizens on the base of a signed agreement regarding obligations with regards to the choice of plants (only local), methods of cultivation (no pesticides) and maintenance (areas need to be maintained consciously). Professionals from the Gardening Agency can be asked for advice.



[1] “Plan Climat Energie de Paris” (Mairie de Paris, 2012).

[2] Anne Hidalgo, “Anne Hidalgo Dévoile Une Batterie de Mesures Pour Faire Le Paris de La Transition énergétique,” Communiqué de Presse, November 12, 2015, Mairie de Paris edition.

[3] “Paris Climate Action – Partnership Agreement Page,” Paris Climate Action, accessed April 7, 2016.

[4] “Cities100 : 100 Solutions for Climate Action Cities” (Sustainia: C40 Cities, 2015).

[5] “Plan Climat – Ville de Paris – ADEME,” accessed April 1, 2016.

[6] “Paris Adaptation Strategy” (Mairie de Paris, 2012).