The principal aim of the OECD’s Environmental Performance Review programme is to improve the individual and collective environmental performance of Member countries and partners by:

  • helping individual governments assess progress in achieving their environmental goals;

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning;

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This report reviews the environmental performance of France since the previous OECD environmental review published by the OECD in 2005. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the country’s environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of France’s historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is indebted to the government of France for its co-operation in providing information, for the organisation of the review mission to Paris and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in May 2015 and a strategy meeting in January 2016, and for facilitating contacts both inside and outside government institutions.

Thanks are also due to the representatives of the two examining countries, Elisa Rivera Mendoza (Spain) and Eva Hauser (Germany).

This report was written by Adam Barbe, Anna Drutschinin, Virginie Marchal, Eugene Mazur, Sarah Sentier and Frédérique Zegel of the OECD’s Environment Directorate, and by Fabien Quétier from Biotope. It also benefited from comments and suggestions from Sylvia Beyer of the International Energy Agency. The review was co-ordinated by Frédérique Zegel, under the supervision of Nathalie Girouard. Carla Bertuzzi provided statistical support and Sylvaine Herold revised the document. Elvira Berrueta, Ulrike Chaplar and Clara Tomasini also helped with its production and publication.

The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of France at its meeting on 8 March 2016 in Paris, and approved the Assessment and Recommendations formulated therein.