2019 will be the year of adaptation to climate change: the French perspective

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Decreasing energy consumption (of buildings in particular) is one of the major priorities of energy and climate policy in France following the Paris Agreement in 2015. This decrease considers all activity areas, especially real estate, which accounts for a large share of French carbon emissions (27%). With its first “Low Carbon National Strategy”, France is engaged to reduce GHG emissions by 75% by 2050. Going even further, The City of Paris has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

Undeniably, in the context of climate change, all economic sectors are required to adapt. In France, the second edition of the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change was released last December, in order to increase societal resilience in reaction to chronic and acute climate change-related hazards. The real estate sector is directly affected by such hazards, and OID takes an active part in the process of applying this adaption.

Regarding existing buildings, the upcoming national news concerning responsible real estate is detailed in the Commercial Real Estate Decree. It sets guidelines regarding real estate actors obligation to reduce energy consumption of commercial buildings. Concerning new developments, the Environmental Regulation 2020 will apply energy and carbon criteria to all new buildings.

We are reaching a tipping point this year in hopes of achieving a low-carbon economy. In order to limit global warming to 2 degrees, we need to ensure a change in global economic direction. In France, ADEME and CDP launched the “Assessing low Carbon Transition (ACT) – Trajectoire 2°” initiative. The real estate industry is also affected by this process, following the Low Carbon National Strategy, which will be published during the first half of 2019.

OID takes part in the progress of responsible finance in France, encouraging institutional investors, listed companies and management companies to be transparent and proactive in the integration of environmental, social and governance stakes in their investment processes. Through the 18 ESG issues presented in the Barometer of Responsible Real Estate, OID assesses the state of advancement of real estate investing companies and brings inputs to the understanding of that nebulous topic. 

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