“Ecology? This is too serious a subject to leave to ecologists alone. » By leaving one of his favorite little phrases on the subject, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the president of Medef, set the tone, Monday, May 16. While Emmanuel Macron’s second term is to begin under the auspices of the “ecological planning” – a subject supposed to be directly linked to Matignon, promised the Head of State – companies intend to make their voices heard in the growing debate on how to finance the climate transition.
To do this, the Medef asked the economic institute Rexecode, close to the employers’ organization, to calculate the cost of the “decarbonization” of the French economy: in short, how much will it be necessary to invest to respect national climate objectives, i.e. to reduce France’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 ?
The economists’ conclusion is clear: by 2030, companies, households and administrations will have to invest 58 to 80 billion euros per year, or 2.1% to 2.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) additional, in order to adapt the fleet of vehicles, the buildings, the energy system or even the industrial processes.
These estimates, obtained by extending the major macroeconomic trends in GHG emissions but also by analyzing the seven main sectors concerned (transport, industry, agriculture, building, energy, waste treatment and use of land and forests), were carried out with a moderate GDP growth assumption of 0.9% per year by 2030.
Tax relief demanded
Nevertheless: the ” step “, as the authors of the study call it, is considerable. First for companies, which will have to increase their investments by 10% per year – this is the whole concern of Medef. “Usually we don’t like the word planning, conceded Mr. Roux de Bézieux. But in the ecological field, it is necessary, because no business leader is able to project himself over twenty, thirty or forty years. »
It therefore needs a “adapted incentive policy”, emphasizes Raphaël Trotignon, head of the energy-climate division of Rexecode. For Mr. Roux de Bézieux, it will be ” sit around the table » as soon as the new government is appointed, in order to define trajectories and objectives sector by sector, and to safeguard regulations and other tax incentives. The Medef has not given up either on its main battle horse, the reduction of production taxes, which remain higher than in neighboring countries (Germany, Italy). He is still calling for a reduction of 35 billion euros per year from these taxes – while Emmanuel Macron has promised in his program to abolish the contribution on the added value of companies, for 7 billion. “The tax cut would not improve competitiveness but directly finance the over-investment that we need”, says Mr. Roux de Bézieux.
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