Friday, August 15, 2014

Why France is a Global Climate Leader

France has shown the kind of climate leadership that sets an example for the world. Their crowing effort to date is new legislation that, if passed, would provide tremendous support to France's low-carbon, green economy.

The proposed bill is worth about €10 billion ($13.41 billion) and includes tax breaks, low-cost loans, and bonuses. The bill supports renewable energy, zero emission vehicles, and efficiency. The bill would reduce the nation's dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

The legislation has already won the approval of the cabinet and it will go before the French Parliament this autumn. It is expected to be ratified in 2015.

Energy

The bill would almost triple renewable energy from 12 to 32 percent, it would also cut greenhouse gas emissions a total of 75 percent by 2050.

Vehicles

The proposed legislation would offer grants for zero emission vehicles and home charging stations.

Efficiency

Under the new bill homeowners would receive compensation for 30 percent of the cost of thermal insulation from their taxable income, up to a maximum of €16,000 per couple. A €1.5 billion fund would be established to subsidize "zero-waste" and "energy-plus" (communities or buildings producing more energy than they import).

Fossil Fuel Taxes

France already taxes fossil fuel use including transport fuels and domestic heating.

Fracking Ban

The nation has also banned fracking, a position which has survived constitutional challenges.

Rio (2012)

At the 2012 Rio+ 20 meeting, Francois Hollande reiterated French support for the creation of a UN Environment Organization.

G8 (2013)

In 2013 at the 39th G8 summit held Northern Ireland, Hollande called on the leaders in attendance to cut carbon emissions and set an example for the world. G8 nations generate half

"There can be no growth or development that is not sustainable," Hollande said. "The G8 must do its part and give a strong political impetus to curb carbon emissions."

G8 countries represent around 50 percent of the global economy, and account for approximately 46 percent of carbon emissions released on an annual basis.

UN Climate Conference (2015)

Hollande has called for an 'ambitious' agreement at COP 21, the 2015 UN Climate Summit which will be hosted in Paris. As Hollande said at the G8 conference in 2013, "It is the responsibility of the international community as a whole to ensure the success of the negotiations."

Under Hollande's leadership, the French government has set an ambitious course which the wider world would be wise to follow.

Related Articles
National Laws and a Global Climate Agreement
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Obama's End Run Around the Senate to Secure a Climate Deal
Finland's New Legislation will Reduce Emissions by 80%
The Sustainability Yearbook 2013 Leading Countries

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