June 20, 2021

In France, climate-friendly public spending has doubled in ten years, but remains insufficient

Among the many lessons that can be drawn from the “yellow vests” crisis, there is one that concerns climate action: the State must financially support households and businesses in the ecological transition. To see more clearly the sums already mobilized, the think tank I4CE (Institute of the economy for the climate) has embarked on an unprecedented exercise: sifting through the entire state budget for ten years. in order to identify favorable – and unfavorable – climate budgetary and fiscal expenditures.

It emerges from this study, published on Wednesday 9 June and that The world exclusively obtained that public spending which contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions doubled, from 15 billion euros in 2012 to 31 billion in 2021, i.e. an increase of 0.7% to 1, 3% of GDP. These expenditures, which amount to 200 billion euros cumulatively over the decade, are mainly distributed between three key sectors: low-carbon mobility (72 billion), the production of carbon-free energy (61 billion) and renovation. buildings (37 billion).

The post-pandemic recovery plan for Covid-19, presented in September 2020 and translated into the latest finance laws, constituted a “Unprecedented acceleration”, note I4CE, with an additional 5.6 billion climate-friendly in 2021. “With the recovery plan, we arrive at roughly the amounts of investment necessary to align with France’s climate objectives”, says Quentin Perrier, researcher at I4CE and co-author of the study.

Not all effective measures

But this increase is temporary since the recovery plan only covers the period 2021-2022. Nothing has yet been scheduled for the next five-year term. “The recovery plan should constitute a tipping point, that we maintain and continue to increase the amounts after 2022”, adds Quentin Perrier. According to I4CE calculations, France should at least double its climate investments over the period 2024-2028 compared to today (i.e. 14 billion euros additional per year) if it wants to meet its climate objectives. These objectives will also be raised soon, while the European Union has increased its climate ambition.

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Even setting aside the exceptional spending from the stimulus plan, climate-friendly spending remains up sharply over ten years (+ 70%). In detail, they have made progress in the area of ​​building renovation under the effect of the creation of the CITE in 2014, a tax credit open to all households for their renovation work, then with the recovery plan, which finances the renovation of housing and public buildings.

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