The French Government announced the creation of "France Transition Ecologique"

The first meeting of France’s Ecological Defense Council took place on Thursday, May 23rd. The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, announced the launch of the France Ecological Transition initiative (France Transition Écologique): an initiative which aims to implement the recommendations made by Pascal Canfin, the CEO of WWF-France, and by Philippe Zaouati, the Chairman of Finance for Tomorrow and the CEO of Mirova, in the report submitted to the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition and the French Ministry of Economy and Finance in December.

One of the primary recommendations included in the report was to implement a “Green Juncker Plan” for France,  which would bring together public and private investors in order to leverage private financing to fund the ecological transition. The goal is to develop risk-sharing financial instruments in France (blended finance), so that 1 billion euros of public money can be used to leverage private investment for a total investment of 10 billion euros in the energy and ecological transitions. The ultimate goal is to finance the implementation of new economic models and to encourage changes in consumer behaviors which will help to accelerate the energy and ecological transitions.
The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, said, “We have decided to launch the France Transition Ecologique initiative, an initiative which will make the ideas proposed by M. Pascal Canfin and M. Philippe Zaouati in their report a reality and which will bring together public and private investors. I look to the French Environment & Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the Caisse des Dépôts, and Bpifrance [French public investment banks], in particular, to help facilitate project leaders’ access to financing.”
Philippe Zaouati, the CEO of Mirova, said, “We are delighted that the government has chosen to launch the France Ecological Transition initiative and to implement the recommendations from the report which we submitted last December with Pascal Canfin. The question of how to finance the ecological transition is an important one. The funding is there, the solutions are there, and we feel that collaboration between the public and private sectors is an essential part of the answer.”
Read the report here
In the summer of 2018, Nicolas Hulot, the French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Economy and Finance, asked Pascal Canfin, the CEO of WWF-France, and Philippe Zaouati, the Chair of Finance for Tomorrow and the CEO of Mirova, to draft a report to exploring the possibility of using risk-sharing financial instruments to help finance France’s transition towards carbon neutrality.
In order for the transition to be successful, the primary challenge is “to invest more, but more importantly to invest better.” Since public funding alone is insufficient, private investment must be directed towards funding the transition.
The goal of the report was therefore to produce recommendations for implementing financial instruments where public money is used as a risk-sharing tool (blended finance). This would increase private investors’ involvement in financing the transition, especially in sectors which are currently unable to meet the objectives laid out by public policy due to a lack of funding.
For reference, the recommendations included in the Canfin-Zaouati report were:
– Recommendation n°1: Bring together members of different existing public financial  institutions to create a public investment team with a unified approach to the energy and environmental transitions: France Transition;
– Recommendation n° 2: Develop a French doctrine to govern the use of public-private risk-sharing financial instruments within France Transition;
– Recommendation n° 3: Focus on rolling out the transition with an initial public funding budget of 1 billion euros in order to generate 10 billion in private investment over a 3-year period. This would correspond to 10% to 30% of the amount needed to meet the objectives set by French policy (SNBC-PPE);
– Recommendation n°4: Ensure that France Transition coordinates with the European Union and the planned InvestEU programme;
– Recommendation n° 5: Create conditions for greater collaboration between the private and public sectors to fund the Energy Transition.