Investments in favor of the climate increased by 10% in 2020, despite the health crisis. This is what the panorama drawn up by the I4CE think tank reveals. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids have mainly benefited. But experts warn of possible tensions to come due to the shortage of certain materials in the renewable energy sectors and the renovation of buildings.
Investments in favor of the climate not only resisted despite the health crisis, but they even increased in France in 2020. According to the latest edition of the Panorama of climate finance published on Thursday 2 December by the think tank I4CE, households, businesses and administrations have invested nearly 45 billion euros in favor of the climate, up 10% over one year. At the same time, the country’s overall investments fell by almost 8%.
The increase was mainly focused on electric cars and plug-in hybrids, thanks to European regulations. Cycling facilities have also benefited to a lesser extent. On the other hand, investments in the energy renovation of housing, the rail network, public transport and renewable energies remained stable or fell slightly.
Between 13 and 15 billion euros are missing per year
But even having withstood the health crisis well, climate investments remain insufficient in relation to the objectives of the National Low-Carbon Strategy (SNDC), France’s climate roadmap. I4CE estimates that it would take 13 to 15 billion euros of additional public and private investments, each year until 2023, and about double until 2028 to reach them. And again, this is a minimum threshold, because many sectors, such as agriculture, industry or nuclear are not covered, and the new European objective – not yet applied – involves reducing 55% emissions compared to 40% currently.
In addition, experts warn of new tensions that could disrupt climate investments, such as rising prices and longer delivery times for semiconductors, needed for electric cars and solar panels, or for wood and solar panels. insulation used in the renovation of buildings. The economic recovery could also lead to a rebound in investments in fossil fuels, after they fell by 32% in 2020.
Finally, the think tank warns of the fact that the main climate financing of the recovery plan will end in 2022. It calls on the public authorities to develop now ” a climate strategy for public finances” and calls on the main candidates for the presidential election . But for now, the subject of ecological transition is struggling to emerge in the debate.