- France already has a relatively low emitting power sector. However, 1.5°C compatible pathways show the need to reduce the sector’s carbon intensity by 75% below 2019 levels by 2030.
- The power sector decarbonisation would need to be driven by a gas phase-out between 2035 and 2038 and a coal phase-out which should have happened already in 2020. While France had announced a coal phase-out by 2022, in August 2021, the government decided to keep one power plant running at 10% capacity, effectively postponing the phase-out to between 2024 and 2026. More recently, the government reopened one coal power plant, using the current fossil energy crisis as a justification.
• Robust policies to drive the development of renewables will be key in France’s energy transition as the country also aims to reduce its reliance on nuclear in power generation to 50% by 2035, compared to 75% in 2019.
• Our analysis of 1.5°C compatible pathways for France indicate that renewables could generate 60–85% of electricity by 2030. In 2021, the share of renewable energy in the country’s power mix was 24%.
- Emissions from the residential and commercial buildings have declined by 40% since 1990. The sector emitted 62 MtCO₂e in 2019.
- Given that by 2050 70% of the existing building stock in France could be made of buildings built prior to 2012,1 rapid renovations as well as regulatory standards for new buildings will be needed in the coming decade.3
- To be compatible with 1.5°C pathways, France will need to increase the share of electricity in the building sector from 43% currently to 65% in 2030. The sector could be fully decarbonised between 2035 and 2044.
- Emissions from industrial processes and energy demand in the industry sector fell by 40% and 33%, respectively, between 1990 and 2019. Key emitting sub-sectors include chemicals, metals and construction materials.
- To be compatible with 1.5°C pathways, direct CO₂ emissions from the industry sector will need to be further reduced by 42-47% and 83-100%, respectively, by 2030 and by 2050, from 2019 levels.
- Much of the emissions reductions will need to come from increasing the shares of electricity, hydrogen and biomass to 48–61% by 2030 and 72–85% by 2050 from 2019 levels.
- France aims to reduce emissions from transport – its most emitting sector – by 28% below 2015 levels by 2030 and fully decarbonise the sector by 2050. To be in line with 1.5°C pathways increase the share of electricity in the transport sector from 2% in 2019 to 11–46% by 2030.
- To incentivise a modal shift in transport, the government need to increase investments in and adopt more measures to promote rail travel and cycling.3