France

Law no. 2017-1839 on the end of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and diverse dispositions related to energy and the environment

Legislative
Law
Mitigation Framework
Passed in 2017
The law no. 2017-1839, voted in its final version on December 19th, 2017, and published on December 31st, 2017, modifies a number of articles from the French mining code and imposes an end to all activities of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon fossil fuels on the French territory, including the exclusive economic zone and the continental plateau, by 2040. The ban includes gas, oil and coal, and stipulates that no further permit will be granted by the government.
 
Permits already attributed can keep exploration and extraction activities ongoing. Permits currently being revised won't be able to seek exploitation beyond January 1st, 2040, unless the permit holder demonstrates to the administrative authority that the limited concession time does not allow to recover costs. In that case, the authority establishes modalities to take exploration and exploitation costs into account within the Conseil d'Etat decree under art. L. 132-2. Art L. 111-7 states that exploitation permit holders are still entitled to extract new substances mentioned in art. L.111-6 if the given holder can demonstrates the connexion with fuels already being extracted, and economic profitability. A derogation to the present law has been issued to allow for sulfur exploitation in the Lacq bassin to keep going.
 
Art. L. 132-12-1. mentions that five years prior to the end of the concession, the permit holder has to send a report to the administration presenting the reconversion potential of existing installations for other ground activities, including geothermal power, or other economic activities, in particular the implementation of renewable energies.
 
Art. 6 on hydraulic fracturation revises the mining code's art. L.111-13 to expand the ban to other techniques that would lead to a pore pressure higher than lithostatic pressure in the geologic shell, excluding punctual maintenance operations or safety reasons.
 
Art 9 stipulates that fossil fuels importing companies shall make public, yearly from January 1st, 2019, the greenhouse gases emissions unitary intensity over the full life-cycle per unit of energy of imported hydrocarbons. The State issues by annual decree the calculation mode, premising emissions factors differentiated by fuel type.
 
Chapter IV, art. 18, revises art. l. 661-4 so that biofuels and bioliquids must represent a potential of greenhouse gases emissions reduction of at least 50% compared to fossil fuels, in the case of biofuels produced in installations having started production before October 5th, 2015. The rate is 60% for installations having started production after that date, and after January 1st, 2018, for installations located in third countries.
 
Chapter V, art. 21 revises art. L. 222-9 to set national objectives on anthropogenic atmospheric pollutants emissions reductions.
 
Chapter VI, art.20 revises art. L.2224-37 of the general code of territorial collectivities to allow mayors to create and manage charging infrastructures necessary to the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, and boats. Infrastructures related to gas and hydrogen charging stations for vehicles and boats are also allowed.

Documents
Related litigation cases
  • IPC Petroleum France SA v. France

    Case decided

    On December 18, 2019, the French Administrative Supreme Court upheld a decision to include an expiration date in a fossil fuel mining permit.In early 2018, IPC Petroleum France SA applied for an extension of its existing fossil fuel extraction permit. The extension was granted, but only until Jan...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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