Posted on September 26, 2022 at 17:10Updated on September 26, 2022 at 5:11 pm
“There were a lot of expenses for the gas bill.” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire had to admit on Monday: France’s budget for next year “leaves too much on the side of fossil fuels.” The tariff shield on gas and electricity put in place by the government to limit the impact of soaring prices on the wallets of the French seriously undermines the promised “greening” of public finances.
Bercy estimates the cost of this energy shield at 16,000 million euros: 11,000 million for gas and 5,000 million for electricity. Around 12,000 million euros in credits will be mobilized in particular from the budget of the Ministry of Energy Transition to continue financing this shield in 2023. But the amount could be subject to change. The Government warned on Monday that this forecast “remains subject to significant uncertainty in view of the very high volatility of the market.”
Anticipating criticism about a possible global increase in unfavorable spending for the environment next year, Bruno Le Maire insisted that the Government remains “on track” with the energy transition and the fight against climate change, ensuring that the current situation ” not only can it strengthen our determination, the report that should detail them together with the pro-climate spending should be published in the next few days by Bercy.
The draft budget for 2023 contains “significant advances in climate terms”, insisted Bruno Le Maire. The MaPrimRenov thermal renovation aid program should thus benefit from financing of 2,500 million euros, that is, 500 million euros more than in 2022. Incidentally, the Government has said it is open to a “global renovation mechanism” in favor of which associations or the High Council for Climate have been pleading for a long time.
The State also wants to dedicate 1,300 million euros to “greening” the car park and creates a green fund endowed with 1,500 million for the communities, a measure announced in September by the head of government, Elisabeth Borne.
From the end of this year, France will also stop supporting new fossil fuel projects. The finance bill provides for the end of export guarantees “for the entire value chain of the sector of all fossil fuels: from upstream exploration and production, to downstream refining, through transportation and storage “. France committed to this almost a year ago at COP26 in Glasgow. A “very good news”, reacted Anna-Lena Rebaud, of the NGO Friends of the Earth quoted by AFP, who hailed “a decisive step forward”.
Together, with nearly 60,000 million euros, the budgets of the Ministries of Ecological Transition and Energy Transition increase by 15% in one year. A “historically high” budget, we emphasize to the government.
In the longer term, the Executive is still unclear about its ecological ambition in the public finance programming bill from 2023 to 2027 also presented this Monday. Emmanuel Macron had promised an additional €10 billion a year for the transition. The scope of the State alone is not enough, we must reason within a broader perimeter, we remind the Ministry of Ecology, which cites, among other things, the financing provided by the Caisse des dépôts, parapublic plans or community investments.
The government also gives an appointment in the fall for the presentation of France’s path in terms of ecological transition. “There are big planning problems for all of our public policies. It is on the basis of this work that we will be able to make a precise count of the means to be mobilized ”, specifies the ministry.