The French government announced on Friday, March 3, 2023 in Poitiers its intention to divide by five the greenhouse gas emissions of the State services by 2050. The goal is to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 2 million tons of CO2 equivalent, compared to the current 10 million tons annually.
The state will have to broaden the scope of action
The energy sobriety plan unveiled in October 2022 aimed to reduce the state’s electricity and gas consumption by 10% between 2019 and 2024. Now, in order to reach its new objective, the government will have to broaden the scope of its actions, focusing not only on energy sobriety but also on issues of travel, public procurement, eco-responsible digital technology and food.
Residual emissions will have to be offset by carbon offset projects, in order to reach the French and European objective of carbon neutrality in 2050.
Decarbonated energy production for public buildings
The state also plans to produce some of the decarbonized energy it consumes. On March 3, 2023, the Minister of the Civil Service inaugurated the first photovoltaic park of a series of 300 parks intended to supply public buildings by 2025, on the roof of the Departmental Directorate of Territories (DDT) of the Vienne. Forty-five ground-mounted photovoltaic power plants are also to be built, according to Cecilia Reilhan, the person in charge of deploying the state’s 300 parks.
Considerable effort to be put into carbon offsetting
As the subject is fairly new for the administration, the State still has a considerable effort to make in terms of carbon offsetting. This production of renewable energy does not, however, amount to “a right to consume” for the agents who benefit from it, warns Ms. Reilhan, pointing to the risk of a “rebound effect” in consumption.
10% decrease in state energy consumption
According to figures from the Ministry of the Civil Service, based on a sample of 10,000 public buildings that account for three quarters of the State’s energy consumption, the State’s energy consumption has fallen by 10% over the past year, more for gas (-12%) than for electricity (-8%). The figures are for the period November 2022 through January 2023, which the department compared to the same period in 2021-2022.