Committed to sustainable growth
Investment has been central to France’s response to the global economic crisis, underpinning measures to support competitiveness, and to prepare the country’s future. As part of this, promoting sustainable growth and fast-tracking France’s knowledge economy are paramount.
Important investment initiatives underlining this commitment are:
The French government’s “National Investment Program”
€35 billion of funding for five strategic areas:
- Higher education and training (€11 billion)
- Research (€7.9 billion)
- SMEs and the industrial sector (€6.5 billion)
- Sustainable development (€5.1 billion)
- Digital economy (€4.5 billion)
Green growth: France’s “Green New Deal”
The “Energy and Climate Package” adopted by the European Union in 2008 calls for a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, along with a 20% increase in energy efficiency, and to achieve a 20% share of renewable energies in EU final energy consumption
As part of its “Green New Deal” (“Grenelle I” and “Grenelle II” Environment Acts passed in 2009 and 2010), France set itself a more ambitious target of achieving a 23% share of renewable energy in domestic final energy consumption by 2020.
Through the “Environmental Conference” round table launched in September 2012, France has kicked off a national consultation process focusing, in particular, on managing the energy transition and protecting biodiversity. An energy transition planning bill will also be put forward in 2013.
The “Greater Paris” project
To turn Paris and the surrounding region (Ile-de-France) into a dynamic, attractive, high-flying “world city”:
- €32 billion to be invested in public transport
- €2 billion of investment for the Saclay plateau (to the south of Paris) to build the largest science and technology campus in Europe
France is also a major energy player, attracting major leading investors such as General Electric, Siemens and Toshiba. The country is particularly advanced in championing green technologies, renewable energies and hybrid cars.
To boost innovation and encourage investment in green technologies and companies, the French government recently made available:
- Tax credits or deductions for ”green” companies working in the field of sustainable development
- Financial aid for properties being adapted to help protect the environment
France’s carbon footprint is much lower than that of Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy. France’s CO2 emissions intensity (CO2 emissions / GDP) is the fourth lowest in the world. (IMD, World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012)
“At Natura we believe that innovation is the key to sustainable development, and France is where we’ve tested many new approaches to our business”
Alexandro Giuseppe Carlucci, CEO Natura.