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France Outlines CCUS Trajectory in the Country’s Transition Towards Carbon Neutrality in Updated National Strategy

9th July 2024

On 4 July, the French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty released an updated version of its national CCUS Strategy, unpacking the state of play and future prospects for the deployment of CCUS in France. 

The document builds on the draft CCUS strategy released by the government in June 2023 for public consultation. It also takes into account recent developments at the EU level expected to further drive the development of CCUS in the region more broadly, including the EU Industrial Carbon Management Strategy and the Net-Zero Industry Act. 

The Strategy presents the role CCUS is expected to play in the country’s transition towards carbon neutrality. In particular, it outlines the necessary framework France plans to put in place to enable the scale-up of CCUS in the country, and aims to provide relevant stakeholders with both regulatory certainty and economic incentives to get more CCUS projects off the ground. 

According to the updated French strategy, CCUS can be leveraged to curb unavoidable emissions generated from industries with no alternative or economically viable solutions to decarbonize their operations, such as the cement, chemicals, steel and aluminum production. Other sectors like waste incineration, biomass transformation, paper and food industry could also potentially benefit from the application of CCUS in the long-term, depending on future regulatory developments in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). 

Based on the CCUS trajectory outlined in the strategy, the country aims to reduce 5 to 10% of industrial emissions in 2030, as well as to generate negative emissions by 2050 via three distinct phases. In particular, the country has an ambition to capture: 

  • 4 to 8 Mtpa of CO2 between 2025 and 2030 though the deployment of 2-4 CCUS hubs in correspondence of the highest emitting industrial port areas in Le Havre, Dunkirk, Saint-Nazaire and the Rhône axis. 
  • 12 to 20 Mtpa of CO2 between 2030 and 2040 thanks to the development of domestic CO2 storage, the establishment or ramp-up of CCS networks, as well as the extension of the application of CCUS to other sectors incentivized by future regulatory developments at the EU level.  
  • 30 to 50 Mtpa of CO2 between 2040 and 2050 via the creation of a national and European CO2 transport infrastructure connecting isolated emitters to storage sites, as well as the capture of residual emissions from old and new industrial sites, biogenic sources or directly from the atmosphere. 

Alongside a national CCUS trajectory, the strategy also unveils other key actions deemed necessary to enable the timely development of CO2 capture, transport and storage initiatives in the country, including: 

  • The allocation of public financial support to industrial projects via a carbon contract for differences scheme, which is expected to enable manufacturers to commit to long-term contracts for a period of 15 years and advance the development of the first major CCS projects. 
  • The design of a regulatory framework applicable to CO2 transport, based on the principles of open, transparent and non-discriminatory access. 
  • The development of France’s domestic CO2 storage capacity and the secure access to storage opportunities in the North Sea and the Mediterranean Sea via the ratification of the 2009 amendment to the London Protocol and the conclusion of bilateral agreements with countries outside the EU and the EEA. 
  • The creation of a national framework to facilitate the deployment of CCU projects in the territory and decarbonise the aviation and maritime sector, as well as other sectors via the production of e-fuels or other materials.  

The strategy’s  announcement came at a crucial time for the deployment of CCUS technology in Europe, where the momentum around carbon management technologies have been progressively building over the last years, driven by supportive policies and financial incentives adopted at the EU and national level. 

With the release of this updated CCUS strategy, France joins other states in Europe which are taking steps to accelerate CCUS deployment, marking an important advancement towards the deployment of CCUS technologies in the country and beyond. 

Read more here. 

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