France/ Local authorities: two billion euros of green funds for the ecological transition
The fund to accelerate the ecological transition in the territories (green fund) has been deployed since the beginning of January 2023. This fund is intended for local authorities. This fund aims to subsidize local investments that promote adaptation to climate change.
Announced by the Prime Minister on August 27, 2022, the green fund is included in the Finance Act for 2023. The circular of December 14, 2022(new window), published on January 18, 2023 by the Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, specifies the terms of implementation. The Ministry also published a guide for local elected officials(new window) in December 2022.
The objectives of the green fund
The Green Fund aims to subsidize local environmental investments. The objectives of the green fund are threefold
- strengthening environmental performance, particularly through the energy renovation of local public buildings. The goal is to generate at least 40% energy savings compared to 2010 figures while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a question of better valorizing bio-waste and modernizing public lighting;
- adapting territories to climate change by organizing the prevention of natural risks. This involves improving knowledge of the risks of forest fires and flooding, and protecting buildings in the French Overseas Territories from cyclonic winds;
- improving the living environment, by supporting the national biodiversity strategy 2030, facilitating carpooling and developing better air quality in urban areas.
How the green fund works
The green fund has a budget of €2 billion for local authorities. The amounts are distributed by the General Directorate for Planning, Housing and Nature (DGALN), which is responsible for the program, to the regional prefects. The regional prefects distribute the funds among the departments with the support of the departmental prefects. The criteria for allocating the sums are mainly based on demographics and the specific needs of the territories.
The management of the green fund is thus deconcentrated at the level of the regional and departmental prefects and its financial envelopes are spent by the communities, in accordance with a set of specifications. The measures concerning wastelands, bio-waste and biodiversity are managed by the regions, but most of the other measures are managed by the departments.
The green fund complements other measures, such as the fund for the prevention of major natural risks, also known as the "Barnier" fund, or the contracts for recovery and ecological transition (CRTE).