Climate: French companies pledge to invest 73 billion euros in 3 years


The latest commitments made by French companies in 2017 had been largely exceeded.

Nicolas Sarkozy at the Medef Summer School, Paris, August 29, 2019. (AFP / ERIC PIERMONT)

Sustainable agricultural practices, renewable energies, low carbon technology … These sectors will benefit, for the period from 2020 to 2023, 73 billion euros of investment, promised fifty-five French companies, reported Medef Thursday August 29th. These climate commitments were taken on the sidelines of the Entrepreneurs 'Meeting of France (REF), the new format of the employers' organization summer school.

In total, 101 companies representing more than 1.650 billion euros in turnover and 6 million jobs worldwide have reaffirmed "the need to collectively change course by accelerating innovation and research and development through their investments in low-carbon solutions, to bring about a drastic reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. " In December 2017, 91 companies had already taken targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by signing the French Business Climate Pledge (commitment of French companies for the climate). They have been exceeded in two years, according to Medef.


Their green investments reached 68 billion euros in 2017 and 2018, while the initial objective was to reach 60 billion euros in the period until 2020.

This climate initiative was joined in 2019 by 22 new companies, including Capgemini, Casino, Europcar, Safran and Vivendi, but 14 others who had signed commitments in 2017 did not wish to renew them this year, including Elior, Essilor or the SNCF, according to a statement from Medef.

"The market has long ignored environmental damage," said Minister of Environmental Transition Élisabeth Borne, saying that from now on, "opposing ecological transition and economic efficiency would be sterile and counterproductive".


The Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, Bertrand Piccard, for his part, wished that "the authorities and the political world accompany the movement" towards a more qualitative and less quantitative growth, in which, according to him, certain companies are today in point.

"It is necessary to make compulsory the measures that the pioneers take spontaneously", he also pleaded for the public authorities.

The director general of Engie Isabelle Kocher, after having insisted on the recovery made by her group thanks to the turning towards the low carbon energies, found that the planet was "not at all" on a trajectory of limitation to two degrees of global warming at the end of the century.

But "there is no place for an increase in the price of energy today" for reasons of purchasing power as shown in France the crisis of "yellow vests", has it? she regrets.

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