French president Emmanuel Macron has said the country will convert its two coal-fired power plants, with combined capacity of 1.8GW, to biomass by 2027.
In a televised interview on 24 September, Macron discussed plans to meet France’s climate targets within the next seven years.
France aims to reduce its emissions by 55% by 2030, against a 1990 baseline, in line with a European Union (EU) target. Macron said this is “attainable”, following a special government meeting.
Macron’s plans include reducing dependency on fossil fuels and boosting the use of electric cars.
Annual spending on green initiatives will increase by €7 billion – rising to €40bn from €33bn.
A portion of this funding will be disbursed to convert the country’s two remaining coal-burning plants into biomass-fuelled facilities.
The two plants – the 1.2GW Cordemais and 600MW Emile Hutchet plant in Saint Avold – were initially set to close by last year, but the energy crisis instigated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the shutdown of nuclear reactors in France led to a delay.
Greenpeace France released a statement criticising Macron’s policies as not being ambitious enough.
“If he were truly ambitious and a forerunner, Emmanuel Macron would also have announced dates for phasing out fossil oil and gas,” Nicolas Nace, Green Peace France’s energy transition campaigner, said.