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France needs to invest 66 bln. euro a year on climate action

29 May 2023

France must spend 66 billion euro every year until 2030 in order to hit its climate targets, a new report by a government advisory body says, suggesting more debt and taxing the rich as a way to foot the bill.

France Stratégie, an advisory body attached to the Prime Minister’s office, published recently its report on the economic costs of meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to Euractiv.

“This report will be a landmark in the economics of climate change. Like the Meadows report,” Industry Minister Roland Lescure told Euractiv France. The Meadows report, published in 1972, was the first to theorise the limits to economic growth in the context of climate change.

According to the report, climate action will cost France more than 66 billion euro annually until 2030. Of that sum, 48 billion euro will have to be spent on renovating buildings – whether business, residential or public. Another 7 billion euro a year will have to be invested in the energy field, while 3 billion euro a year will need to be spent on road transport.

A large part of these investments will have to be provided by households, the report notes. Switching to an electric car and renovating the home, for example, come at a price tag which is worth one year of salary for middle-class households and two years of salary for many others in the lower income bracket.

“If we do not work on the issue of social justice in this transition, we will go from failure to renunciation”, said Cécile Duflot, a former minister now director of Oxfam France who was invited to the report’s presentation.

To do this, it will be necessary to finance the transition through public finances, to the tune of 25-34 billion euro annually, the report says.

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