France wants a green future


As Europe sets the course for its energy and climate policy, according to a new survey, a majority of French polled support renewable energy sources, EURACTIV France reports.

The French people want to have their say on their countries choice of energy, shows a survey on ‘France and renewable energies’ carried out by the CSA polling institute. According to survey results, 87% are concerned by their country’s energy policy.

“We feel that there is a will to move towards renewable energy, therefore we must shift political discourse in this direction” declared Sonia Lioret, from the French wind energy association, who led the survey of 1,010 people between 11 and 13 March.

Consciousness of energy stakes

87% of French people questioned for the survey profess being in favour of a balance between different energy sources. “One can interpret this as a consciousness of the energy stakes at hand,” indicates CSA’s Jérémie Piquandet.

According to the survey, 64% feel that wind energy could be “one of the solutions” to deal with increasingly scarce resources and global warming. Despite this, if they were to personally invest in renewable energy, 38% would choose solar energy and only 27% would choose wind energy.

Rejecting fossil energy sources

23% of French polled say that they are in favour of investing in fossil energy sources (nuclear, gas or coal), whereas 65% would rather invest in renewable energy (wind and solar).

According to Jérémie Piquandet, “French people expressed an urgency to change to renewable forms of energy. 80% want to invest in wind energy without waiting for the current generation of power stations go out of service.”

Hectic international agenda

French concern over future energy sources echoes the political agenda. In Brussels, the European Council of 20 and 21 March discussed energy and climate change, including new EU goals in relation to CO2 emissions and renewable energies for 2030.

On 19 March, Phillippe Martin, French Minister for Ecology, presented a plan to simplify environmental legislation.

In 2015, France will host the 21st International Conference on Climate Change, where countries from all continents will set common goals in order to prevent global warming. It will endeavour to succeed, where other international summits have failed.

The EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework package was presented on 22 January 2014 as a successor to the three 20-20-20 targets of 20% greenhouse gas cuts, improvements in energy efficiency and renewable energy market penetration, all by 2020. The energy efficiency goal is non-binding and remains the only one the bloc is not on track to meet.

  • A 40% greenhouse gas reduction target that is binding at nation state level and may not be met by carbon offsets
  • The use of carbon offsets to meet further emissions reduction commitments made in international climate talks
  • A 27% renewable energy target that is binding at an aggregate European level but voluntary for individual member states
  • No consideration of any new energy efficiency target until after a June 2014 review of the Energy Efficiency Directive  
  • Non-binding shale gas recommendations which could be made binding after a review in 2015
  • A market reserve facility for the Emissions Trading System, with the power to withhold or release up to 100 million allowances
  • An end to the Fuel Quality Directive, which mandates reductions in the greenhouse gas intensity of transport fuels, by 2020
  • June 2014: European Commission study on EU energy security to be discussed at EU summit
  • Oct. 2014: Provisional deadline for EU to finalise position for 2015 UN climate summit in Paris
  • 30 Nov.-11 Dec. 2015: UN climate conference in Paris

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