France continues a rate of 4.3% decline in greenhouse gas emissions over the first half of 2023, thanks to reductions made in the industry, electricity production and construction sectors while the aviation continues its post-Covid rebound, Citepa announced on Tuesday.
“Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued to decline in the first half of 2023, with a drop of 4.3% compared to the first half of 2022 (excluding carbon sinks)”, according to pre-estimates of the organization mandated to carry out the inventory of French carbon pollution. In the first quarter alone, the drop was also 4.3% compared to 2022, indicates Citepa, which revised upwards its initial estimate of 4.2%. Observed since 2018, “the general trend of falling emissions continues,” underlines Citepa.
Between 2022 and 2021, the drop in emissions was 2.7% over one year. But to meet France's objectives, i.e. a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, we must "go twice as fast", President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed at the end of September. Over the first half of 2023, “three sectors contribute the most to this decline”, notes Citepa: “industry (-10%), energy production (-8%) and buildings (-7%)” .
“For buildings, the drop in heating emissions was very strong at the end of 2022, with the effect of rising energy prices” and “at the beginning of 2023, this effect continues” despite a more severe end of winter , announces Citepa. Emissions caused by “residential heating (...) fell by 8%, with a drop in natural gas consumption” in the first half. On the industrial side, the sector “must have been also strongly impacted by the energy crisis”, with emissions from ferrous metallurgy falling by 22% over the period. As for energy, the decline is fueled by the production of carbon-free electricity: this has reduced its emissions by 15%, in particular thanks to “an increase of 2.6% in nuclear production”, taking into account the gradual return to service of reactors “and lower production of thermal power plants (-17%)”.
Road transport, after two years of post-Covid rebound, is returning to a downward path, with a decline of 1.5% in the first half. “On the other hand, the post-crisis rebound in air transport is still continuing, with a 25% increase in emissions from domestic flights in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022; and an increase of 34% for international flights,” underlines Citepa.