Landscape of climate finance in France
Our homes, vehicles, the factories and the farms, the roads, canals and railroads, the power stations and power grids, as well as many more equipment are the permanent foundation of our economy and our daily lives. They are the result our investments, accumulated over decades – sometimes centuries – and continue to evolve, year after year, as households, businesses and public authorities decide to spend to improve, renovate or remove them. Up to now, the use we make of this equipment generates large quantities of greenhouse gases. Permanently reducing these emissions requires a rapid, far-reaching and coordinated transformation of our investments.
Every year since 2014, I4CE‘s Landscape has analyzed capital expenditure in France, measuring which projects are helping to reduce emissions, and exploring how much we need to invest in the future to meet climate targets and implement our national low-carbon strategy.
This review of investments and how they are financed can enlighten citizens, professionals and elected representatives by regularly taking stock and outlining the prospects for the low-carbon transition.
This study also responds to an intention expressed by Parliament, in Article 174 of the 2015 Law on Energy Transition for Green Growth (LTECV), to have reliable and regular information on the subject of climate investments, intended for all stakeholders.
The French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) and the French Ministry of Ecological Transition have supported the production of the various editions of Panorama since 2015. The European Climate Foundation has also funded the project from 2019 to 2021. In 2016, the project also received support from Climate-KIC via the Ideator program.
Latest edition of the Landscape
In 2023, the Landscape confirms the rapid growth in climate investments: they passed the symbolic milestone of €100 billion in 2022 and are expected to end the year 2023 higher. Compared with 2021, the main areas of growth are electric vehicles, renewable electricity generation, electricity grids and energy-efficient home renovation. But significantly more investment will be needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions : €58 billion more per year than in 2022, in order to meet the targets of the provisional scenario of the national low-carbon strategy. The 2023 edition also analyses the ways in which climate investments are financed: while most climate investments are made by households and businesses, public authorities financed a third of spending in 2022.
The latest edition revises the sources, methods and scope of previous editions, and provides updated results for the entire period studied.
In 2022, the report highlights a rapid increase in climate investments in 2021.They reach 84 billion euros, an increase of 18 billion euros on 2020. However, the level reached in 2021 remains fragile. Faced with more expensive materials, exceptionally high energy prices and a shortage of manpower, households, businesses and local authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to undertake and finance their climate investment projects. And despite their growth, climate investments are still insufficient. Based on ADEME’s “Transition(s) 2050” scenarios, estimates of the additional climate investments needed to move towards carbon neutrality range from an extra 14 billion euros a year for a frugal transition, to up to 30 billion euros a year for a scenario in which technical progress preserves lifestyles.
In 2021, the Landscape reports on the main impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on various low-carbon activities. Climate investments are up 10% to 45 billion euros in 2020. The rise in investments is concentrated on electric and plug-in hybrid cars, with climate investments in other sectors stable or falling. The overall level of climate investments is being maintained thanks to emergency measures taken by public authorities. Despite the increase in 2020, there is still an investment shortfall in relation to the objectives of the National Low-Carbon Strategy and the Multiannual Energy Plan. Between now and 2023, an additional 13 and 15 billion euros of public and private investment will be needed each year. The increase in climate investments in 2021 and 2022 would not be enough to make up this shortfall.
In 2020, the study counts 48 billion euros of climate investments made in 2019. Investments have risen over the 2010s, but are insufficient to meet national climate targets. Given the persistent investment deficit and the COVID-19 crisis, public authorities need to provide more financial, regulatory and support resources to catch up and put France back on the carbon neutrality trajectory.
In 2019, the Landscape lists nearly €46 billion in climate investments made in 2018. With the publication of the new draft National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNBC) and Multi-Year Energy Plan (PPE), a new estimate of investment needs has been drawn up. An additional 15 to 18 billion euros should be mobilized each year to meet the trajectory of the second carbon budget (2019-2023). Assuming a financing model identical to the current one, the public authorities’ annual contribution will have to increase by between 7 and 9 billion euros.
In 2018, climate investments in France exceed €40 billion. The publication focused also on fossil fuels investments and transportation sector, housing and energy production.
In 2017, the Landscape identified 14.5 billion euros in energy efficiency, 5.9 billion euros for the development of renewable energies, and 9.2 billion euros for the construction and upgrade of sustainable transport and network infrastructure. In 2017, I4CE produce a full report about low-carbon investment between 2011 and 2017.
In 2016, the study reported up to 32 billion euros invested in favor of climate in France in 2014. To give an order of magnitude, this represents about 10% of material investments in France that year.
In 2015, the Landscape covers the years 2011 to 2013, with provisional figures for 2014.
In 2014, the first edition of the Climate finance landscape decrypts issues in five sectors of the economy in France.
In the framework of Article 174 of the Energy transition for green growth act, the results of the Landscape of climate finance are cited in the Climate Policy Document (DPT), annexed to the Draft Finance Law, in 2015, 2016 and 2017.