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for Agnès Pannier-Runacher, “the transformation to be undertaken is on a scale comparable to that of the first industrial revolution”


Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition, puts the French strategy for energy and climate out for consultation. This eighty-five page document, presented on Wednesday November 22, should lead, in 2024, to a first programming law. A structuring law, from which the third editions of the multi-year energy programming and the national low-carbon strategy will result.

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The government promises to make France the first industrial nation to escape dependence on fossil fuels. What does this imply ?

Today, our country consumes around 60% fossil fuels. (oil, gas and residually coal) in its energy mix. It will be necessary to bring the percentage back to around 40% in 2030 and 30% in 2035. This is a very strong rate of decline, supported by the reality of uses. From 2035, the sale of new thermal cars will be banned in Europe and fuel consumption will drop drastically. Likewise, there will be almost no more oil boilers.

More broadly, the transformation to be undertaken over the next three decades is of a scale comparable to that of the first industrial revolution. The energy system must be rebuilt and change its philosophy: until now it has been very centralized, around a few hundred production sites and a few large companies that manage it. In the future, tens of thousands of sites will be both producers and consumers.

By 2050, France also plans to reduce its energy consumption by at least 40%. Then again, what does this mean?

As a whole, the country managed to reduce its gas and electricity consumption by 12% this year and this has not fundamentally changed our lives or those of businesses. This is a first step. More broadly, I want to focus the political message regarding sobriety on the benefits that the French will be able to derive from it, rather than on the planet.

Switching from a thermal car to an electric car means massive fuel savings. It also means drastically reducing air pollution, with an effect on bronchiolitis in the youngest or asthma in the youngest, or even on the early deaths of parents. These are things that people understand very well. It is up to the government to ensure that ecology is not a luxury product.

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We also asked big players and big companies to do their part. For example, only 6% of buildings are equipped with a technical building management system (BMS), which provides significant energy savings. I’m talking about ministries, warehouses, Defense towers.

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