French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced during a meeting in Mayenne on Wednesday, May 22, that carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, the main greenhouse gas, will decrease by 5.8% in France in 2023 compared to the previous year. 2022, a figure that has exceeded the country’s expectations for this period. In a message published on his atmospheric.

This data means that CO₂ emissions in France were below those recorded in 2020 in 2023, a year marked by the covid pandemic, with a very pronounced drop in economic activity and human activity and, therefore, therefore, with a decrease in associated emissions. These data would be very good news for a France that has set the goal of achieving, in 2050, carbon neutrality, that is, not emitting more than it absorbs in carbon sinks (forests, soils, etc.), which is equivalent to reducing its emissions by 80% compared to 2005.

Despite the enthusiasm of the French Prime Minister, who boasts in the message that this is “French-style ecology”, the Interprofessional Technical Center for Studies on Atmospheric Pollution (Citepa) highlights that the details of this data have not been published, which At the moment they respond to provisional results and we must wait for the publication of the 2023 Secten report, which will present in detail the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants in France, since 1990, by sectors and subsectors.

On the website of this non-profit association you can consult the data on the emission of different greenhouse gases and suspended particles divided by industrial sectors until 2022, but the final data for 2023 have not yet been published.

The climate crisis is an issue of great importance for the French population, which demands greater relevance of this eco-social crisis in the French electoral programs of the upcoming European elections on June 9. The French media Le Monde denounces that, less than twenty days before these elections, climate and environmental issues are relegated to the periphery of the French electoral campaign.

As a reflection of the desperation of the scientific and activist community in the face of the political inability to act in favor of the environment, the British newspaper The Guardian has interviewed 380 members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to find out their perception of the capacity that humanity has to stop global warming and the consequent climate crisis.

According to the results of this study, published on May 8, almost 80% of experts predict global warming of at least 2.5°C by the end of the century, well above the minimum threshold established during the Paris Agreement. which limited the increase in global temperature in this century to 2°C. However, almost half of the members interviewed project a rise of 3°C if the current trajectory does not change.

In March, Citepa had calculated, in a first estimate of the 2023 data, that emissions had decreased by 4.8% in 2023. The French Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, already celebrated these first data in the supply chain. French television TF1. Alluding to the commitment of the European Union (EU), he declared that France was on the right track to achieve its carbon neutrality objectives planned for 2050, with a reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) that covers all sectors, especially construction and industry. Béchu added that this pace must continue throughout the decade and that “now is not the time to let our guard down.”

However, the same Citepa association summarizes on its website the socioeconomic context that exists behind these data: firstly, they explain that the 6% decrease in emissions in the residential-tertiary sector in 2023 compared to 2022 is due to a context of inflation; with an especially visible drop from January to March, and from September to December that they attribute to various factors, such as energy prices, inflation, the weather or the continued prudent behavior of households and companies. In addition, they highlight that the 8% decrease in emissions in 2023 is mainly due to falls in industrial production.

They also explain the 14% drop in GHG emissions from energy production between 2022 and 2023 with the increase in nuclear and hydraulic, wind and solar energy production (although to a lesser extent). In addition, natural gas consumption fell by 19% in 2023 compared to 2022, due to the drop in production, but also to structural phenomena such as supply limitations.