The French government presented ‘France Relance’, a large €100bn recovery package drawing on funding from both the domestic and EU budget, in September 2020. In April 2021, France’s finance minister Le Maire presented the final €40bn national Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), which finances the national ‘France Relance’ package. The EU recovery facility thus provides 40% of the funding for the French recovery plan. Overall, French recovery measures make a moderate contribution to the green transition.
The recovery effort of the government covers three areas: Ecology, Competitiveness and social and territorial cohesion. Especially the measures under the ecologic thread can be mostly indicated as ‘green’. The overall vision of the recovery package can be described as futureoriented and aiming for an ecologic transition.
We find that the measures in the domestic French recovery package overall achieve a green spending share of 19%. The analysis of the RRP in the context of the EU Recovery Facility shows a green spending share of 29%, below the EU’s 37% benchmark. According to the government, the plan’s climate spending share is 50%, whereas the EU Commission has conceded 46% climate spending (see report for more details). In contrast, 23% (€23.1bn) of all measures have a negative impact. Furthermore, we find that 25% (€24.8bn) of all measures may have a positive or negative impact on the green transition depending on the implementation of the relevant measures, illustrating the importance of further scrutiny during the further planning, review and implementation of the recovery measures.
Our calculation of the green spending share aims to mirror the approach used for the official assessment of national recovery plans (find more information here).
*Our analysis covers the France Relance recovery plan presented in September 2020 as well as the National Recovery and Resilience plan presented in April 2021. This report was written by Helena Mölter (Wuppertal Institute) and Sara Dethier (E3G). We are grateful to Hadrien Hainaut (I4CE), Phuc Vinh Nguyen (Jacques Delors Institute), Claire Godet and Felix Heilmann (both E3G) for providing valuable inputs.
France is embedding several measures in the mobility sector which aim to promote a behavioral change, for example supporting daily mobility with public transport projects and improving and increasing the rail offer.
The government lowered production taxes(€20bn for two years), a measure that will continue after Covid-19 (i.e. as a €10bn/year cut). This measure did not initially include climate conditionalities, thus the issue was debated in the parliament following the publication of the plan. This led to an amendment with new obligations in terms of the environment, parity and social dialogue. However, companies will not be penalized if they fail to meet these obligations.
While renewable energy consumption will be boosted by a number of measures, (e.g. dedicated to hydrogen, transport or decarbonisation of industry) there is no support for renewable energy production foreseen.