Issue Deep Dive

France / Climate

Last updated: November 2, 2023

Policy Context

According to France’s CICID and the 2021 Development Law, fighting climate change is stated as one of the five key priorities for French development cooperation. Further, one of the three objectives prescribed by the Development Law is the protection of global public goods, especially in the context of climate change.

France focuses its effort in climate change mitigation and adaptation on strengthening biodiversity and supporting low- and middle-income countries' energy transition.

In June 2023, President Emmanuel Macron hosted the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, which aimed to rethink the global financial architecture and mobilize financial support for low- and middle-income countries, especially to fight climate change and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The New Global Financing Pact: Key takeaways and opportunities for advocates

ODA Spending

How much ODA does France allocate to climate projects?

France was the third-largest donor for projects related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in 2021.

This funding represents 57% of France’s bilateral allocable ODA, more than double the DAC average of 24%, putting it in second place among DAC donors in terms of its relative prioritization of climate change-related projects.

How is France's climate ODA changing?

Climate change is a longstanding priority of French development policy, particularly since the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as the global commitment to mobilize US$100 billion per year from 2020-2025 by HICs.

25% of bilateral allocable ODA targeted projects with climate change mitigation and/or adaptation as principal goals, nearly triple the DAC average of 9%. 32% was spent on projects with a significant climate change component.

How does France allocate climate ODA?

France’s climate-related ODA in 2021 emphasized adaptation projects, totaling US$4.5 billion, while mitigation projects accounted for US$2.6 billion. Cross-cutting projects received US$50 million.

The largest share of climate funding focused on energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, which received 16%, 13%, and 12% of climate finance in 2021, in addition to 14% of projects which were labeled ‘other multi-sector.’

France's bilateral ODA to climate adaptation, between 2017 and 2021, has increased by 133% overall. It peaked in 2020 due to an increase in both principal and significant funding and a notable increase in funding to the agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa and various sectors, including government and civil society, in South America. Significant funding reached an all-time high in 2021, with most of this going to Sub-Saharan Africa.

The largest share of France’s adaptation-related ODA in 2021 was categorized ‘multi-sector’, a majority of which went to urban development and management. Under environmental protection, biodiversity and environmental policy and administrative management are the two sub-sectors that received the most adaptation-related ODA in 2021.

Under Agriculture, over 80% of the adaptation-related ODA went to rural development and agricultural development.

Funding to WASH is largely channelled to water supply and sanitation systems.

The 5th-largest sector that received adaptation ODA in 2021 was financial services, within which almost 90% went to formal sector financial intermediaries.

Multilateral Spending and Commitments

In addition to bilateral flows, France contributes to climate change adaptation and mitigation in low- and middle-income countries through its contributions to multilaterals.

Funding Outlook

What is the current government's outlook on climate ODA?

At COP27, France reiterated its commitment made at COP26 to allocation US$7.1 billion per year for climate change. Of this amount, US$2.4 billion is allocated for adaptation, with a focus on countries in Africa, and especially within its 19 priority sub-Saharan African countries. France also highlighted its commitment to financing Just Energy Transition Partnerships with South Africa, Indonesia, Senegal, and India.

The AFD committed to disbursing 50% of its financing to climate-related programming, a target which it surpassed in 2021 when it disbursed US$7.1 billion to climate-related programs. The AFD’s Climate and Development Strategy 2017-2022 outlined its climate priorities. The AFD was also appointed chair of the IDFC in October 2017, which strongly emphasizes climate action.

At COP27, France announced an US$24 million contribution to the Global Shield against climate risks. It also emphasized that the US$7.1 billion pledge for international climate finance had been reached, with US$7.1 billion disbursed in 2021, including US$2.6 billion for adaptation.

Key Bodies

Related Publications

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The New Collective Quantified Goal: What advocates need to know

The Loss and Damage Fund: A primer for advocates

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Mareike Fürst

Mareike Fürst

Mareike Fürst

Mareike Fürst

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