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France marches for renewables

France’s new president has been rallying for climate policy both nationally and internationally. Aleya Begum reports.

 

Since winning the election in May this year, French President Emmanuel Macron has been making international headlines. From his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he invited to Versailles but openly challenged on several issues, to his strolls with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along flowered pathways that had the internet gushing, the French leader has been in the limelight.

One area where he has received considerable attention is his strong stance on climate policy and his commitment to continue pushing France towards a more renewable energy mix. Since US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he is pulling the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate policy, Macron’s dedication has been highlighted – through both his direct response to the US president, whom he called on to “make the planet great again”, as well his efforts to rally international support.

 

At home

Macron’s election manifesto holds several key measures for France relating to the environment, including shutting down all coal power plants within five years and reducing the amount of power from nuclear energy. Meanwhile, the president says he will ban all new shale gas exploration and wants to double wind and solar energy capacity.

France has carried out a series of significant environmental reforms in the last few years, including the Grenelle Laws in 2009 and 2010 and the Energy Transition and Green Growth Law in 2015. Grenelle I outlines France’s objectives on sustainable development, while Grenelle II provides the framework for implementation. The law is divided into six target areas: buildings and urbanisation, transport, energy and climate, biodiversity, health and governance.

The energy transition law is designed to give France the means to diversify its energy mix and bring in binding energy targets for transport, housing and renewable energy. Some ambitious national targets include cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and by 75% by 2050; cutting national energy usage by 50% by 2050; reducing the share of fossil fuels in energy production by 30% compared to 2012; capping the total output from nuclear power at 63.2GW and reducing reliance on nuclear power from the current 75% to 50% by 2030.

Macron’s pledges push these targets further. His deadline for shutting down coal power plants is sooner and the reduction in nuclear is scheduled five years ahead of the transition law. He has also promised to accelerate research and development and investment for energy storage and smart grids, as well as increase the French carbon tax to €100 per tonne by 2030. He’s also said he will put out a five-year calendar for tenders to develop 26,000MW of renewable projects “at the beginning of” his presidency – all indicating a boon for the renewables industry.

The sector will no doubt benefit from Macron’s appointment of environmental activist Nicolas Hulot as head of energy policy. Hulot, a former press photographer who rose to fame on the back of environmental documentaries, will be minister of ecological and solidarity-based transition, in charge of the ministry of the environment, energy and marine affairs.

 

Abroad

In his victory speech, Macron promised to promote international co-operation on climate change and assured world leaders that France would be a constructive partner on matters of global concern.

“France will be active and mindful of peace, of the balance of power, of international co-operation, of respect for the commitments made on development and the fight against global warming,” he said.

Among his manifesto pledges, Macron calls for the use of trade sanctions, at EU level, against countries that do not adhere to the bloc’s environmental standards. The proposal was seen by many as a warning to the Trump administration to stick to the commitments made by the US at COP21 in Paris, and to the UK to avoid weakening environmental protections during Brexit negotiations. When Trump announced the US’ withdrawal from the Paris accord, the French leader called the decision “a mistake both for the US and for our planet” and invited American climate researchers to France.

“To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the president of the US, I want to say that they will find France a second homeland. I call on them: come and work here with us,” Macron says in a Twitter video.

Since the appeal, the president has also launched a “Make Our Planet Great Again” website, where researchers interested in taking up his invitation can apply for up to €1.5mn in grant funds.

Macron has met with various world leaders since his election win. Notably, in his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, just days after Trump’s announcement, the two leaders vowed to “fight against global warming”, and both pledged to go above and beyond the Paris commitments.

During the Paris climate talks, the two countries launched the International Solar Alliance. The alliance seeks to mobilise more than US$1tn by 2030 and bring together over 100 solar-rich countries to deliver energy to some of the planet’s poorest communities.

 

Banks get on board

French banks have also backed a green goal. Last September, the French Banking Federation (FBF) acknowledged that the cost of funding the energy transition was a key element and proposed a “green supporting factor” to assist. The supporting factor comprises three components: firstly, reduced capital requirement for financing; secondly, asset eligibility based on specific terminology and labelling as climate transition assets; and finally, eligibility to extend to individuals and SMEs making greener purchases.

“Our green supporting factor proposal will help speed up funding of the energy transition in France and Europe. For France this is also an opportunity to step up its role in funding green growth,” said director of FBF Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani when the plans were announced during Responsible Finance Week.

Earlier this year, Société Générale halted all future financing of coal projects anywhere in the world and committed to increasing its green exposure. The bank will also scale back its outstanding loans to the coal industry, with the goal of reducing the proportion of coal-fuelled power in its energy portofolio to 19% by 2020. Last year the bank said it maintained its position among the world leaders in renewable project financing and was involved in a majority of offshore wind projects in Europe, including the Dudgeon farm in the UK, Mercur in Germany and Rentel in Belgium.

Moreover, the bank has committed to restructure its energy portfolio in line with the energy mix defined by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as necessary to limit the average global temperature increase to 2°C.

“We have committed to ban coal financing as of January 1, 2017– be it mining or coal fired-power projects and related infrastructures anywhere in the world. This ban was active as of January 1, 2017,” global head of energy at Société Générale CIB, Olivier Musset, tells GTR.

“We now have the ability to track all our lending and to break it down in terms of energy stock. 90% of our new origination in the power sector is for green energy, including wind, solar and hydro. This is where the world is currently investing so that’s where we can get involved.”

BNP Paribas has also announced new strategies to align with tackling the 2°C scenario. At the end of 2016, the bank said it planned to better measure, disclose and reduce carbon risks in its portfolios and encourage companies to report and reduce their carbon footprints. In March, the bank committed to becoming carbon-neutral by the end of the year in terms of CO2 emissions arising from its own operations.

However, a recent report Banking On Climate Change 2017, found that French banks were still ploughing money into heavy oil and gas. The report ranks 37 major global banks’ policies and practices around financing of the most carbon-intensive, financially risky and environmentally destructive sectors of the fossil fuel industry. BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Crédit Agricole were all reviewed for financing activity in the 2014 to 2016 period, and were ranked at 15th, 17th and 25th place respectively – investing a total US$20.62bn between them.

The Paris Agreement saw 197 countries sign up to strengthen the global response to climate change. While by no means exclusively a French initiative, despite the name (which appears to have confused Trump who said he wants to talk to the citizens of “Pittsburgh, not Paris” as he pulled out of the deal), the new French president is on route to lead the march for climate policy and renewables.

But while the banks appear to be changing course, it seems they are not quite ready to give up on dirty fossils.

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T&CsPrivacy Policy© Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd 2018

Privacy Policy

Our privacy commitments

This Privacy Policy outlines the information we may collect about you in relation to your use of our websites, events, related publications and services (“personal data”) and how we may use that personal data. It also outlines the methods by which we and our service providers may (subject to necessary consents) monitor your online behaviour to deliver customised advertisements, marketing materials and other tailored services. This Privacy Policy also tells you how you can verify the accuracy of your personal data and how you can request that we delete or update it.

This Privacy Policy applies to all websites operated by Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd (as indicated on the relevant website).

This privacy statement does not cover the activities of third parties, and you should consult those third-party sites’ privacy policies for information on how your data is used by them.

Any questions regarding this Policy and our privacy practices should be sent by e-mail to privacy@gtreview.com or by writing to Data Protection Officer at, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, 4 Hillgate Place, London, SW12 9ER, United Kingdom. Alternatively, you can telephone our London headquarters at +44 (0) 20 8673 9666.

Who are we?

Established in 2002 and with offices in London and Singapore, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd is the world’s leading trade and trade finance media company, offering information, news, events and services for companies and individuals involved in global trade.

Our principal business activities are:

  • Business-to-Business financial publishing. We provide a range of products and services focused on international commodities, export, supply chain and trade finance markets including magazines, newsletters, electronic information and data
  • Organisers of seminars, conferences, training courses and exhibitions for the finance industry

Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd is a company registered in the United Kingdom with company number 4407327 | VAT Registration: 799 1585 59

Data Protection Policy

This Data Protection Policy explains when and why we collect personal information about people who visit our website, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.

Why do we collect information from you?

Our primary goal in collecting personal data from you is to give you an enjoyable customised experience whilst allowing us to provide services and features that will meet your needs.
We collect certain personal data from you, which you give to us when using our Site and/or registering or subscribing for our products and services. However, we also give you the option to access our Sites’ home pages without subscribing or registering or disclosing your personal data.

We also collect certain personal data from other group companies to whom you have given information through their websites (including, by way of example, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd and subsidiaries, in accordance with the purposes listed below). Should we discover that any such personal data has been delivered to any of the Sites, we will remove that information as soon as possible.

Why this policy exists

This Data Protection Policy ensures Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd:

  • Complies with data protection law and follow good practice
  • Protects the rights of staff, customers and partners
  • Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
  • pretexts itself from the risk of a data breach

We may change this Policy from time to time so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you’re happy with any changes. By using our website, you’re agreeing to be bound by this Policy.

Data protection law

The Data Protection Act 1998 described how organisations – including Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd – must collect, handle and store personal information. These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials. To comply with the law, personal information collected must be stored safely, not disclosed unlawfully and used fairly.

The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

  • Be processed fairly and lawfully
  • Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes
  • Be adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Be accurate and kept up to date
  • Not be held for any longer than necessary
  • Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
  • Be protected in appropriate ways
  • Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country of territory also ensures an adequate level of protection

How do we collect information from you?

We obtain information about you when you use our website, for example, when you contact us about products and services, when you register for an event, register to receive eNewsletters, subscribe or register for a trial to our GTR magazine/website.

 Types of Personal Data Held and its Use

1.      Customer Services and Administration

On some Sites, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd collects personal data such as your name, job title, department, company, e-mail, phone, work and/or home address, in order to register you for access to certain content, subscriptions and events. In addition, we may also store information including IP address and page analytics, including information regarding what pages are accessed, by whom and when.

This information is used to administer and deliver to you the products and/or services you have requested, to operate our Sites efficiently and improve our service to you, and to retain records of our business transactions and communications. By using the Sites and submitting personal information through the registration process you are agreeing that we may collect, hold, process and use your information (including personal information) for the purpose of providing you with the Site services and developing our business, which shall include (without limitation) the purposes described in the below paragraphs.

2.      Monitoring use of our Sites

Where, as part of our Site services, we enable you to post information or materials on our Site, we may access and monitor any information which you upload or input, including in any password-protected sections. Subject to any necessary consents, we also monitor and/or record the different Sites you visit and actions taken on those Sites, e.g. content viewed or searched for. If you are a registered user (e.g. a subscriber or taking a trial), when you log on, this places a cookie on your machine. This enables your access to content and services that

are not publicly available. Once you are logged on, the actions you take – for example, viewing an article – will be recorded (subject to any necessary consents). We may use technology or a service provider to do this for us. This information may be used for one or more of the following purposes:

  • to fulfil our obligations to you;
  • to improve the efficiency, quality and design of our Sites and services;
  • to see which articles, features and services are most read and used
  • to track compliance with our terms and conditions of use, e.g. to ensure that you are acting within the scope of your user licence;
  • for marketing purposes (subject to your rights to opt-in and opt-out of receiving certain marketing communications) – see paragraph 3 below;
  • for advertising purposes, although the information used for these purposes does not identify you personally. Please see paragraph 5 below for more details;
  • to protect or comply with our legal rights and obligations; and
  • to enable our journalists to contact and interact with you online in connection with any content you may post to our Sites.

Please see paragraph 5 below for more information on cookies and similar technologies and a link to a page where you can turn them on or off.

3.      Marketing

Some of your personal data collected under paragraphs 1 and 2 above may be used by us to contact you by e-mail, telephone and/or post for sending information or promotional material on our products and/or services and/or those of our other group companies.
We give you the opportunity to opt-out of receiving marketing communications. Further detail can be found on the applicable Site and in the footer of each marketing communication sent by us, our group companies or service providers. See also “Consents and opt-outs” section below.
We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

4.      Profiling

We may analyse your personal information to create a profile of your interests and preferences so that we can contact you with information relevant to you.

5.      Cookies and similar technologies

All our Sites use cookies and similar technical tools to collect information about your access to the Site and the services we provide.

What is a cookie?

When you enter some sites, your computer will be issued with a cookie. Cookies are text files that identify your computer to servers. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used.

Many sites do this whenever a user visits their site in order to track traffic flows, recording those areas of the site that have been visited by the computer in question, and for how long.

Users have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or not to receive cookies at any time. Selecting not to receive means that certain personalised services Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd offers cannot then be provided to that user.

 

Why do we use cookies?

  1. Log In – Where we provide log in mechanisms for site users a cookie is created at login and for the duration of the session. Each cookie contains a unique reference number only (no personal information) which is used to confirm you are authorised.
  2. Analytics – To allow us to keep track of traffic to our website we use cookies. The cookies simply tell us if you have previously visited our website so we can get more accurate figures for New vs Returning visitors.

Find and control your cookies

All of the major browser providers offer advice on setting up and using the privacy and security functions for their products. If you require technical advice or support for a specific browser/version please contact the provider or visit their website for further details: www.microsoft.com / www.mozilla.com / www.apple.com
 / www.opera.com / www.aol.com / www.netscape.com
 / www.flock.com / www.google.com

We may use cookies to:

  • remember that you have used the Site before; this means we can identify the number of unique visitors we receive to different parts of the Site. This allows us to make sure we have enough capacity for the number of users that we get and make sure that the Site runs fast enough
  • remember your login session so you can move from one page to another within the Site;
  • store your preferences or your user name and password so that you do not need to input these details every time you visit the Site;
  • customise elements of the layout and/or content of the pages of Site for you;
  • record activity on our Sites so that we understand how you use our Sites enabling us to better tailor our content, services and marketing to your needs;
  • collect statistical information about how you use the Site so that we can improve the Site; and
  • gather information about the pages on the Site that you visit, and other information about other websites that you visit, so as to place you in a “market segment”. This information is only collected by reference to the IP address that you are using, but does include information about the county and city you are in, together with the name of your internet service provider.

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies but, if you prefer, you can change your browser to prevent that, or to notify you each time a cookie is set. You can also learn more about cookies in general by visiting www.allaboutcookies.org which includes additional useful information on cookies and how to block cookies using different types of browser. Please note however, that by blocking, deleting or turning off cookies used on the Site you may not be able to take full advantage of the Site.

6.      E-mail tracking

E-mail tracking is a method for monitoring the e-mail delivery to those subscribers who have opted-in to receive marketing e-mails from GTR, including GTR Africa, GTR Asia, GTR Americas, GTR Europe, GTR Mena, GTR eNews, Third party e-mails and GTR Ventures.

Why do we track e-mails?

So that we can better understand our users’ needs, we track responses, subscription behaviour and engagement to our e-mails – for example, to see which links are the most popular in newsletters. They enable us to understand the consumers journey through metrics including open rate, click-through rate, bounces and unsubscribes. Any other purposes for which Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd wishes to use your personal data will be notified to you and your personal data will not be used for any such purpose without obtaining your prior consent.

How do you track GTR eNewsletters?

To do this, we use pixel GIFs, also known as “pixel tags” – these are small image files that are placed within the body of our e-mail messages. When that image is downloaded from our web servers, the e-mail is recorded as being opened. By using some form of digitally time-stamped record to reveal the exact time and date that an e-mail was received or opened, as well the IP address of the recipient.

7.      Consents and opt-outs

You can give your consent to opt-out of all or any particular uses of your data as indicated above by:

  • Indicating at the point on the relevant Site where personal data is collected
  • Informing us by e-mail, post or phone
  • Updating your preferences on the applicable Site or eNewsletter (unsubscribe and preference options are available in the footer of each eNewsletter)

To turn cookies and similar technologies on and off, see the information in paragraph 5 above. Any questions regarding consents and opt-outs should be sent by e-mail to privacy@gtreview.com or by writing to Data Protection Officer at, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, 4 Hillgate Place, London, SW12 9ER, United Kingdom. Alternatively, you can telephone our London headquarters at +44 (0) 20 8673 9666.

8.      Disclosures

Information collected at one Site may be shared between Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd and other group companies for the purposes listed above.

We may transfer, sell or assign any of the information described in this policy to third parties as a result of a sale, merger, consolidation, change of control, transfer of assets or reorganisation of our business.

9.      Public forums, message boards and blogs

Some of our Sites may have a message board, blogs or other facilities for user generated content available and users can participate in these facilities. Any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should always be careful when deciding to disclose your personal information.

10.  Data outside the EEA

Services on the Internet are accessible globally so collection and transmission of personal data is not always limited to one country. Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd may transfer your personal data, for the above-listed purposes to other third parties, which may be located outside the European Economic Area and/or with a different level of personal data protection. However, when conducting transfers, we take all necessary steps to ensure that your data is treated reasonably, securely and in accordance with this Privacy Statement.

Who has access to your information?

Confidentiality and Security of Your Personal Data

We are committed to keeping the data you provide us secure and will take reasonable precautions to protect your personal data from loss, misuse or alteration.

However, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our Site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features described above to try to prevent unauthorised access.

We have implemented information security policies, rules and technical measures to protect the personal data that we have under our control from:

  • unauthorised access
  • improper use or disclosure
  • unauthorised modification
  • unlawful destruction or accidental loss

All our employees, contractors and data processors (i.e. those who process your personal data on our behalf, for the purposes listed above), who have access to, and are associated with the processing of your personal data, are obliged to keep the information confidential and not use it for any other purpose than to carry out the services they are performing for us.

Responsibilities

Everyone who works for or with Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately. Each team handling personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles. However, the following people have key areas of responsibility. The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd meets its legal obligations.

Name of Data Controller


The Data Controller is Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd. Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd is subject to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and is registered in the UK with the Information Commissioner`s Office.

How to access, update and erase your personal information

If you wish to know whether we are keeping personal data about you, or if you have an enquiry about our privacy policy or your personal data held by us, in relation to any of the Sites, you can contact the Data Protection Officer via:

  • By writing to this address: Data Protection Officer, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, 4 Hillgate Place, London, SW12 9ER, UK
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8673 9666
  • E-mail: privacy@gtreview.com

Upon request, we will provide you with a readable copy of the personal data which we keep about you. We may require proof of your identity and may charge a small fee (not exceeding the statutory maximum fee that can be charged) to cover administration and postage.

Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd allows you to challenge the data that we hold about you and, where appropriate in accordance with applicable laws, you may have your personal information:

  • erased
  • rectified or amended
  • completed

Disclosing data for other reasons

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject. Under these circumstances, Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd, will disclose requested data. However, the Data Controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisors where necessary.

Changes to this Privacy Statement

We will occasionally update this Privacy Statement to reflect new legislation or industry practice, group company changes and customer feedback. We encourage you to review this Privacy Statement periodically to be informed of how we are protecting your personal data.

Providing information

Exporta Publishing & Events Ltd aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand.

  • How the data is being used
  • How to exercise their rights

To this end, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company. This is available on request and available on the company’s website.

Review of this policy

We keep this Policy under regular review. This Privacy Statement was last updated in April 2018.