France approves green energy law

Hosts of 2015 climate summit adopt targets to cut fossil fuel use and boost the renewables sector

Ségolène Royal claims the legislation is "the most advanced" in Europe (Pic: Parti Socialiste)

Ségolène Royal claims the legislation is “the most advanced” in Europe (Pic: Parti Socialiste)

By Megan Darby

France is set to cut fossil fuel use and ramp up renewable energy generation after passing a long-awaited energy and climate law last week.

The law sets targets to reduce consumption of fossil fuels 30% by 2030 and get 32% of energy from renewable sources.

Shifting to cleaner sources of power will contribute to the EU’s provisional target of a 40% drop in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 1990 levels.

Ségolène Royal, French environment minister, claimed: “With this law, France adopts the most advanced legislation in the European Union.”

At the same time, the country will diversify away from nuclear, which currently dominates the power generation mix. By 2025, the government aims to get 50% of power from nuclear, down from 75% today.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 prompted France to question its heavy reliance on atomic power, which was developed in the 1970s and 1980s.

The government set aside €10 billion to fund a total of 64 specific policy measures in the bill, over the next three years. It hopes to create 100,000 jobs in green industries.


European leaders are set to finalise a climate policy framework out to 2030 in October, which will commit the EU to slashing carbon emissions.

The European Commission has proposed a 40% cut in carbon emissions, a 27% renewable energy target and a 30% energy efficiency target, following the existing three-pronged approach.

It is an important milestone on the path to 2050, when the EU has committed to cut emissions by 80%.

Decisions made by national leaders will affect what Europe can bring to international negotiations, which are set to produce a global climate treaty next year in Paris.

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