Project for a Greener France
As a part of President Macron’s five-year plan to restrain climate change, France has recently released plans to triple its onshore wind power capacity by 2030 and increase its solar power generation by five times. These recent actions have been in support of the nation’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
The French government is expected to boost funding on renewables development from 5 billion to 8 billion euros. In countries like Latvia and Austria, over 30 percent of electricity consumption comes from renewables. France’s percentage hovers around 20. To reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy, the French government plans to close 14 of the nation’s 58 nuclear reactors by 2035.
To keep power prices from renewables projects in check, France is looking to reform the system that allows suppliers to buy electricity produced by nuclear reactors at a set price.
Earlier in the year, President Macron implemented higher carbon taxes for 2018 in an effort to protect clean air. Carbon taxes reached $51 per ton, up from $35 per ton in 2017, and are expected to reach $98.50 per ton in 2022. Diesel, usually taxed at the same rate as gasoline, has also seen a tax hike of 6.2 percent per liter this year, which has caused backlash across the country.
The French government has offered citizens money back if they trade in their diesel car for a more environmentally friendly one. Auto manufacturer Volvo has announced that it will only produce electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2019.
Additionally, France has vowed to stop importing products like palm oil and unsustainably grown soya that contribute to deforestation in key areas, such as the Amazon Rainforest. Ten percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions is attributed to deforestation.
Climate change could also have potentially catastrophic economic effects. Infrastructure, agricultural production and water sources are all at risk. Global trade will be hit by rising import and export prices, affecting French companies with overseas operations and supply chains. The higher the global temperatures, the higher the loss in GDP.