09 Nov 2023, 10:30

CLEW Guide – France moves into action with new climate plan, green industry makeover

France has unveiled a new strategy for climate action with a view to slashing its carbon emissions by 55 percent compared to 1990 levels by the end of this decade. The government intends to leverage energy efficiency measures and the reduction of energy consumption. It also seeks to strengthen its nuclear industry by bringing new plants online following a series of unforeseen shutdowns amid skyrocketing energy prices and energy security woes due to droughts and Russia’s war in Ukraine. The deployment of more renewables is the final pillar of France’s decarbonisation plan, as it continues to lag behind the European targets. There is much progress still to be made despite a renewed push for hydrogen and carbon capture. This regularly updated guide provides an overview of France’s efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
Photo shows climate protesters in Paris, France. Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash.
Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash.

With its “CLEW Guide” series, the Clean Energy Wire newsroom and contributors from across Europe are providing journalists with a bird's-eye view of the climate-friendly transition from key countries and the bloc as a whole. You can also sign up to the weekly newsletter here to receive our "Dispatch from..." – weekly updates from Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, Poland and the EU on the need-to-know about the continent’s move to climate neutrality.


With contributions by Camille Lafrance.



  1. Key background
  2. Major transition stories
  3. Sector overview


*** Please note: You can find a full dossier exploring Franco-German approaches to climate and energy policy and effects on the EU here.***

Key background

Graph shows France's greenhouse gas emissions by sector from 1990-2021. Graph: CLEW/Narawad.
Graph: CLEW/Narawad.

Major transition stories

  • Climate protests – Climate demonstrations in France have been described as more radical than in the neighbouring countries, which has led the government to cite public safety risks following violent protests over megabasins in early 2023.
  • Just transition – Last year, the European Commission laid down an investment strategy worth 18.4 million euros for the period 2021-2027 as part of a partnership agreement with France. The funds are set to promote the country’s economic, social and territorial cohesion, along with its green and digital transition.
  • Energy sufficiency – Following on from efforts to save energy and avoid power cuts during the winter of 2022, the government proposed a follow-up energy sobriety plan across all sectors to ensure further savings (e.g. higher penalties for high-emitting vehicles, speed reductions on highways, limiting interior temperatures in buildings) and raise awareness overall.
  • Decarbonisation strategy – The French government unveiled in September a new decarbonisation plan in a bid to reduce the country’s emissions based on sufficiency, energy efficiency measures, and the deployment of nuclear and renewables. France has also laid out a low-carbon national strategy (SNBC) with short-term budgets and a fixed emissions ceiling, which is currently being revised.
  • Adaptation strategy – After a series of heatwaves, floods, wildfires and droughts in recent years, France rebooted its strategy to adapt to the consequences of climate change. This new plan includes proposals for adapting to 4 degrees Celsius of warming, signalling the environment ministry’s readiness to prepare for the worst. Another strategy is expected to be presented in December.
  • Sustainable finance – In July 2023, the French national assembly adopted the “Say on Climate” amendment as part of the government’s green industry bill, which aims to promote the country’s homegrown clean industries. It would have made France the first country in the world to require listed companies to consult their shareholders on their climate strategies via “Say on Climate” resolutions. However, the amendment was dropped in autumn.
  • Investment programme – The French government plans to invest half of its France 2030 programme aimed at improving the nation’s industrial competitiveness for the energy and ecological transition, mainly to decarbonise its economy.


Sector overview

Graph shows France's energy consumption by source 1990-2022. Graph: CLEW/Narawad.
Graph: CLEW/Narawad.






  • The sector is responsible for about 21 percent of total GHG emissions.
  • The French government is discussing legislation on the future of agriculture (PLOAA) by 2040 to ensure that new generations are able to adapt to climate change and to the agro-ecological transition.

Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)

Find an interviewee

Find an interviewee from France in the CLEW expert database. The list includes researchers, politicians, government agencies, NGOs and businesses with expertise in various areas of the transition to climate neutrality from across Europe.

Get in touch

As a Berlin-based energy and climate news service, we at CLEW have an almost 10-year track record of supporting high-quality journalism on Germany’s energy transition and Europe’s move to climate neutrality. For support on your next story, get in touch with our team of journalists.

Tipps and tricks

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.


+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee