France’s domestic emissions would need to be reduced by 62% excluding LULUCF by 2030 compared to 1990 (59% below 2010 levels) to align its economy with 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathways. This is 22 percentage points below the current national target of 40% below 1990 and 44 percentage points below current policy projections.
Not only this represents an ambition gap of around 120 MtCO₂e in 2030, but France is one of the EU member states not having revised its national emissions target since 2015, as compared to others such as Germany or Italy. The new EU emissions reduction goal – itself not yet compatible with 1.5°C – also makes it necessary for France to significantly increase its goal as it has a much higher capability to do more than most other EU member states.
The lack of stringent policies, notably in transport and buildings, the largest emitting sectors in the country, sets the country to miss its national target. This has led the French Council of State – the highest judicial authority in France – to order the government to align policies with the current target by 2022.
A full fair share contribution to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions compatible with the Paris Agreement would require France to go further than its domestic emissions target, and provide substantial support for emission reductions to developing countries on top of its domestic reductions.
Long term pathway
France’s Long-Term Strategy aims for “carbon neutrality” by 2050. It interprets this as a net zero target for all GHG aiming to reduce its emissions by over 83% below 1990 levels and reach about 80 MtCO₂e of emissions, to be balanced by removals by 2050, mostly coming from the LULUCF sector but also to a lesser extent from CCS technologies.
To be 1.5°C compatible, France’s domestic emissions should be reduced by 92% by 2050 compared to 1990 (91% below 2010 levels), excluding the LULUCF sector, or around 42 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050. This is 9 percentage points lower than the current long-term strategy 2050 target.