According to the World Bank, in 1990, France’s GHG emission level was 554,685 kilotonnes (kt) of CO2 equivalent. It was 527,525 kt of CO2 equivalent in 2009 (a 4.8% decrease in comparison with 1990) and 499,146 kt of CO2 equivalent in 2012 (a 10% decrease in comparison with 1990). At this pace, and if investments in the energy transition do not increase, reduction targets will not be reached by 2030 and 2050.
Several initiatives have been set up to meet these goals. The French government wants to increase the carbon share - based on the fossil carbon content - of domestic energy consumption taxes, in order to cut GHG emissions fourfold. The aim is to go from €22 per tonne of CO2 in 2016 to €56 per tonne of CO2 in 2020, and €100 per tonne of CO2 in 2030.
Other priorities should be emphasized, such as improving energy efficiency in buildings and redirecting investments towards green projects, notably by creating labels to enable a more comprehensive consideration of elements related to environmental issues.
Germany, the Climate Action Plan 2050
The Climate Action Plan 2050 was adopted by the German Council of Ministers in November 2016. The German government took into account the findings of studies, scientific scenarios, and particularly a document with 97 proposals for action put forward by German Länder, municipalities, associations and citizens between June 2015 and March 2016.
The Climate Action Plan provides landmarks to help reach the country’s national climate goals, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. The long-term goal is that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by 80% to 95% between now and 2050, and that Germany becomes neutral in terms of GHG by the second half of the century. To do so, Germany wants to reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. 1990 levels represented 1,256,074 kt of CO2 equivalent, while 2012 levels amounted to 951,716 kt of CO2 equivalent. There has thus been a 24.2% decrease between 1990 and 2012. In 2011, however, GHG emissions represented 922,540 kt of CO2 equivalent. GHG emissions decreased until 2011, but increased after the shutdown of nuclear power plants. There are 500 CO2 emissions in grams per kilowatt in Germany, in comparison with only 80 for France. This can be explained by the fact that nuclear energy is still the latter’s main source of electricity. At this pace, and if Germany does not replace its large consumption of fossil fuels (largely coal that replaced nuclear energy), the Germans will not achieve their goals.