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France Current situation

What is Franceʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

The energy sector was responsible for 70% of France’s total emissions in 2019. Transport was the biggest emitter with 32% of total GHG emissions, followed by Agriculture which accounted for 18% of total GHG emissions. In 2019, 65% of agricultural emissions consisted of methane from enteric fermentation, followed by nitrous oxide emissions from cultivated soils.5 Buildings and industry (accounting for both energy and processes) accounted respectively for 15% and 13% of total GHG emissions in 2019.

Compared to other countries with a similar economic structure, France’s power sector is relatively low emitting (7% of its total emissions) due to a high share of nuclear power generation.

France’s current policies are not sufficient to meet the country’s economy wide emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 level by 2030. The target itself should be enhanced to be Paris-compatible.

France did not stay within its first carbon budget in the period 2015–2018, exceeding it by 65 MtCO₂e cumulatively. The government’s revised National Carbon Strategy reduced the ambition of the second carbon budget covering the period 2019–2023.6,7 This means that the country will need to accelerate its emissions reductions to reduce by 3% per year from 2021 to 2023 and by 3.3% per year during the third carbon budget to make up for the delay and to achieve the needed emissions reductions.8 In addition, the government was ordered by a court to compensate 15 MtCO₂e for the carbon budget overshoot.

1 Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire. La transition écologique et solidaire vers la neutralité carbone. (2020).

2 Conseil d’Etat. Émissions de gaz à effet de serre : le Conseil d’État enjoint au Gouvernement de prendre des mesures supplémentaires avant le 31 mars 2022. (2021).

3 Dugast, C. & Joly, A. Depuis sa condamnation, l’État français s’est-il donné les moyens de son ambition climat ? (2022).

4 IEA. Global EV Data Explorer – Data Tools – IEA. (2022).

5 Haut Conseil pour le Climat. Agir en cohérence avec les ambitions. Rapport annuel Neutralité Carbone (2019).

6 Government of France. National Climate and Energy Plan. (2020).

7 Ministère de l’Écologie. The Ecological and Inclusive Transition Towards Carbon Neutrality. 1–29 (2018).

8 Haut Conseil pour le Climat. Renforcer L’Attenuation , Engager L’Adaptation. Rapport Annuel 2021. (2021).

9 International Energy Agency database. Energy Data and Statistics. (2021). supply&indicator=TPESbySource

10 Ministère de la Transition Ecologique. Les énergies renouvelables en France en 2020 – Suivi de la directive 2009/28/CE relative à la promotion de l’utilisation des énergies renouvelables | Données et études statistiques. (2021).

11 Kinley, R. It’s time for Macron to revive French leadership on EU climate goals. Energy Monitor (2022).

12 Legifrance. LOI n° 2015-992 du 17 août 2015 relative à la transition énergétique pour la croissance verte (1) – Légifrance. (2015).

13 Ministère de la Transition écologique. Loi de transition énergétique pour la croissance verte | Ministère de la Transition écologique. (2015).

14 La Tribune. La France ne sortira finalement pas du charbon en 2022 : la reconversion de la centrale EDF de Cordemais est abandonnée. (2021).

15 Haut Conseil pour le Climat. Rapport annuel 2021. (2021).

16 Ministère de la Transition écologique. Plan de rénovation énergétique des bâtiments | Ministère de la Transition écologique. (2021).

17 Euractiv. EU nations approve end to combustion engine sales by 2035 – (2022).

18 ACEA. Electric vehicles: Tax benefits and purchase incentives in the 27 member states of the European Union. (2022).

Franceʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Transport
  • Buildings
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Power
  • Other
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Industry (processes)
  • Waste
Energy (68%)⟵ LULUCF negative emissions

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

In 2019, nuclear and oil accounted for almost 35% of France’s total energy supply, as most of the electricity was generated by nuclear power, and the transport sector was mostly fuelled by oil.9 Fossil gas accounted for around 15% of total primary energy supply, with most of it consumed by buildings and industry.9 France aims to increase fivefold the amount of district heating and cooling from renewable energy in heat networks by 2030, from current levels.7 The government has a target to reduce the share of nuclear in the country’s electricity generation to 50% by 2035.7 While this policy is still in place, in February 2022, President Macron announced that the country would build six new reactors and potentially commission another eight by 2035–2037 to deal with the decaying state of existing reactors.

The French government had committed to shutting down coal power plants by 2022 and to not authorise any new coal-fired power stations.6However, in August 2021, a law was adopted to allow the country to reopen coal power plants and decided to keep one power plant running at a 10% capacity “to ensure network stability”. This decision is likely to postpone the coal phase-out to 2024 or 2026.4 More recently, in light of the ongoing fossil energy crisis, France has extended the operation of one coal plant to at latest the end of 2023.

According to the EU’s first Renewable Energy Directive adopted in 2009, France was to increase the share of renewable energy in its final energy consumption to 23% by 2020. However, France missed this target, with the share of renewables reaching only 19% in 2020.] Throughout 2022, France experienced significant unplanned switching off of nuclear power plants and low electricity generation from hydro power. These difficulties indicate that the country needs to develop renewables not only to reduce emissions, but also to increase its energy security.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Base year emissions target

National target

  • 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1

Market mechanism

  • No market mechanism.

Long-term target

France submitted its Long-Term Strategy to the UNFCCC. It aims at “carbon neutrality” by 2050, which it defined as a net zero target for all GHG for 2050. In the 2020 Stratégie Nationale Bas-Carbone France outlined that its GHG emissions should be reduced by over 83% by 2050. The remaining emissions should not exceed 80 MtCO₂e in 2050 and would be counterbalanced by the LULUCF sector.1 Such a significant carbon sink would require vast sections of the country to be reforested.

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • A 23% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2020 (2009/28/EC).
  • A 33% share of renewable energy in final energy generation by 2030. With the currently negotiated increase in the EU goal, also France should increase its target.6

Loi Transition Energétique pour la Croissance Verte (LTECV) and Stratégie Nationale Bas-Carbone:

  • A 20% reduction of final energy consumption from 2012 levels by 203012,6 or 202.2 Mtoe for primary energy by 2030 and 120.9 Mtoe for final energy.6
  • A 30% reduction of fossil fuel consumption from 2012 level by 2030.6
  • A 33% emissions reduction from energy production by 2030 compared to 2015.1


  • A 49% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 and 94% by 2050 below 2015 levels excl. LULUCF.1 The strategy does not consider ‘incompressible’ gases.
  • Tertiary buildings with floor area above 1000m² to reduce energy consumption by 40% by 2030.1
  • 500,000 thermal renovations annually between 2015–2030 and 700,000 between 2030–2050. There will be a minimum of 370,000 complete renovations per year from 2022.1,15
  • A 15% reduction in final energy consumption from the building sector by 2028 compared to 2010 levels.16


  • An 18% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 and 46% by 2050 below 2015 levels excl. LULUCF.1
  • Carbon budgets set:
    • 2019–2023: 82 MtCO₂e of which CH₄: 37 MtCO₂e and N₂O: 35MtCO₂e.1
    • 2024–2028: 77 MtCO₂e of which CH₄: 34 MtCO₂e and N₂O: 33MtCO₂e.1
    • 2029–2033: 72 MtCO₂e of which CH₄: 32 MtCO₂e and N₂O: 31MtCO₂e.1


  • Installed renewable energy capacity to be doubled from 2017 by 2028, to about 101–113 GW,6 and renewable energy generation to reach 40% of total electricity production by 2030.13
  • Coal-fired power plants mandated to shut down by 2022.6 Revised in 2021 to keep one power plant running at 10% capacity.14
  • The share of nuclear in electricity generation to reduce to 50% by 2035.1


  • 100,000 public recharging stations by 2023.6
  • A 28% reduction of emissions over 2015–2030 and 100% by 2050.1
  • Increase internal combustion engine efficiency to 4L/100km by 2030 in real driving conditions, and 12.5 kWh/100km for electric vehicles by 2050.1
  • 100% of light transport vehicles to be zero emission vehicles by 2040.1
  • 50% biofuels in aviation in 2050.1
  • 12% of bicycle use in modal share by 2030 and 15% by 2050.1
  • Develop domestic maritime transport, to be decarbonised by 2050.1


  • A 35% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 and 81% by 2050 below 2015 levels.1
  • 41% of the industry sector electrified by 2030 and 70% by 2050 from 2015 levels in final consumption.1


  • 100% of plastic waste recycled by 2025.6
  • The strategy aims to reduce the sector’s emissions by 37% by 2030 compared to 2015 and by 66% by 2050.1
  • A 50% reduction in non-hazardous waste volume in landfill compared to 2010 volume by 2025.6


  • Increasing forestry emissions sinks by 87% compared to its reference scenario (with around -60 MtCO₂e/yr in 2050, compared to -30 MtCO₂e/yr in 2050 under the reference scenario).1
  • Carbon budgets set:
    • 2019-2023: -38 MtCO₂e.1
    • 2024-2028: -36 MtCO₂e.1
    • 2029-2033: -41 MtCO₂e.1
  • France’s forest law from 2014 pursues sustainable forestry management, and its National Strategy to Combat Imported Deforestation (November 2018) aims to put an end to deforestation caused by importation of unsustainable forest and agricultural products by 2030.1