2021 OECD Economic Surveys: France 2021

image of OECD Economic Surveys: France 2021

The French economy rebounded quickly following the COVID-19 crisis, in particular thanks to the acceleration of the vaccination campaign and strong public support measures. Rapid and effective implementation of the recovery and investment plans would help support stronger and more sustainable growth. However, public spending has reached an exceptionally high level, with a mixed performance, which calls for reorganising the fiscal framework to ensure the sustainability of public finances. Education and labour market integration policies will need to be better targeted, with specific training efforts for young people and older workers. Reinforced support for the most vulnerable and less qualified should reduce inequalities, including territorial ones. The transition to a greener economy is the other key challenge that France must take on. Strengthening green investments is crucial to accelerate the pace of emission cuts, as well as putting in place the necessary incentives to foster behavioural changes, if necessary with targeted support for the most vulnerable.


English Also available in: French

Steering the recovery towards an ecological transition

The green transition has become one of France’s main priorities. Even though it is one of the countries with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, the pace of emissions cuts has to accelerate to comply with its European commitments, namely carbon neutrality by 2050. Land take continues to increase and waste volumes remain above the OECD average. Intensive farming and the use of chemical inputs have had a highly detrimental impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.Green private investments must increase, and households and businesses need further incentives to adapt their behaviour. Public acceptance for environmental taxes is low. They are nevertheless effective in reducing emissions and pollution. To avoid exacerbating inequalities and to promote social acceptance for environmental taxes, the most vulnerable households and businesses need additional support.The design and implementation of some policy instruments can still be improved to increase their cost-effectiveness in reducing emissions and pollution. The development of renewable energies must accelerate to diversify the energy mix without jeopardising efforts towards a more sustainable economy, nor affecting electricity supply security and affordability. Land-use policies must also take better into account the many benefits of biodiversity and internalise the negative externalities of land take.

English Also available in: French


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