Categories: World

Macron offers a “decarbonization pact” to the most polluting industrialists

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Give and take. Emmanuel Macron proposed, on Tuesday, to the French industrialists who emit the most CO2, which he received at the Elysee Palace, a doubling of public aid to 10 billion euros. In exchange, the latter will have to step up the pace on the decarbonization of their activity. “If projects and sites are identified within 18 months, if you double your efforts, if we manage to go from 10 million tonnes of CO2 avoided to 20 million educated, we will double the resources devoted to this issue and the envelope of 5 to 10 billion euros of accompaniment”, launched the Head of State to the industrialists gathered at the Elysée.

Cement, aluminium, steel, fertiliser, sugar or fuel: the leaders of the fifty French industrial sites that emit the most CO2, including the CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné, were received in the village hall of the Elysée. These 50 sites alone account for 30,000 jobs and half of industry’s emissions, ie 10% of the country’s emissions. “The goal is to halve the greenhouse gas emissions of these sites in ten years, therefore to remove 5% of French emissions”, we explain at the Elysée.

Fifty sites monitored

To achieve this effort, the Head of State, who has just returned from the World Climate Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, also announced that the government would carry out a precise six-month planning and in the years to come, “sector by sector”. These are the steel sites of Arcelor Mittal in Dunkirk or Fos-sur-Mer, the cement works of Vicat, Lafarge or Calcia, chemical plants in the Grand Est, the Berre pond or Normandy, the manufacturers of Yara fertilizers or Borealis, the Arcques glassworks, the ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies refineries in Normandy, Air Liquide in the PACA region, or the sugar production sites of Tereos and Cristal Union in the north of France which are targeted.

“We will put the map of France of the 50 sites” most emitting CO2 online to follow the progress, promised Emmanuel Macron in front of a giant map of France showing the emissions, where the north of France stands out with 12 million tons of CO2 emitted, followed by the Marseille-Fos basin with just over 10 million tonnes of CO2, and the mouth of the Seine in Normandy. The additional five billion euros announced on Tuesday are in addition to the 5 billion already provided for in the France Relance plan for the decarbonization of industry.

It is necessary “within six months for the government to be able to present a plan to integrate” these amounts “into the work of multi-annual energy programming”, specified the president. Planning will have to be done “by technology”, he said, mentioning both hydrogen – which will be used in particular by the steel industry to replace coal – the development of biomass to replace gas, electrification maritime and river ports for the transport of goods, or the capture and reuse of CO2. “Decarbonization is one of the elements that should allow us to continue to create industrial employment”, also underlined the Head of State.

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