France Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

France has assets of many minerals, but the quantities are limited. Coal mining has been phased out and the assets on oil and natural gas are small. For its energy supply, France is highly dependent on nuclear power.

The minerals include iron ore, bauxite, uranium, pot ash, copper and zinc. Extraction occurs, among other things, of nickel, manganese and uranium, but has no significant impact on the economy. The formerly extensive extraction of coal was discontinued in 2004. Minerals and ores are imported for use in industry. From 2014, the government started a new state mining company that would mainly extract rare minerals such as lithium and germanium as well as gold.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by France with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

A large part of the oil demand and all natural gas consumption is covered by imports. In order to reduce oil dependency, France has invested in nuclear power. More than 50 reactors account for just over three quarters of electricity generation. The Government aims to reduce its dependence on nuclear power and during the period up to 2035, 14 of the oldest reactors will be closed.

The goal is also that renewable energy will account for a significantly larger share of total energy consumption up to this point. Environmental work in France has made progress in the last decade with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and declining air pollution. The French government has been recognized internationally for the role it played in enabling the countries of the world to reach a new global climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, FR stands for France. Visit itypeusa for more information about France.


Energy use per person

3,693 kilos of oil equivalent (2015)

Electricity consumption per person

6944 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

303 276 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

4.6 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

13.5 percent (2015)



Act of terror

President Hollande calls the government a crisis meeting and urges the public to be vigilant after incidents in Tours and Dijon where men ran straight into crowds and injured people. The perpetrators are reported to have shouted “God is great” in Arabic. One of them was shot dead by police.


Gun shop laid on ice

President Hollande again postpones the delivery of one of two Mistral aircraft carriers to Russia, this time indefinitely. The decision is justified by Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine. If France completely breaks the sales contract, there is a risk of paying heavy penalties. (see October 2014)


Business with Russia postponed

France postpones delivery of its helicopter-carrying aircraft carrier Vladivostok to Russia. The ship is one of two Mistral military vessels ordered by Russia from France for over EUR 1.2 billion.

Nobel Prize to French author

Author Patrick Modiano receives the Nobel Prize in Literature.


The National Front is elected to the Senate

September 28

Elections are held for half of the Senate’s 348 seats on September 28. The national front takes up the seat for the first time and wins two seats.

Frenchman beheaded

The Frenchman has been kidnapped by a militant Islamist group in Algeria linked to the Islamic State extremist movement. President Hollande condemns the deed.

Interventions against IS

President Hollande announces that France is ready to participate in military action against the Islamic State forces. French fighter aircraft are deployed to contribute to the US-led operation in Iraq. (see Iraq: Current Policy).

Valls wins the vote of confidence

269 ​​of the members of the National Assembly support the government’s policy while 244 are opposed.


The government is leaving

August 25th

Prime Minister Manuel Valls announces that his government is resigning. The dramatic decision, supported by President Hollande, comes after three ministers, including Finance Minister Arnaud Montebourg, strongly criticized the current economic policy. Montebourg demands that the turnaround policy be abandoned in favor of incentives that can accelerate growth in the crisis-hit economy. The three ministers are supported by a left wing within the Socialist Party. After the resignation, Prime Minister Valls will be asked directly by President Hollande to form a new government. Montebourg and the two other insurgent ministers are not part of the new government. New finance minister is Emmanuel Macron, a former presidential adviser.

Weapons for Kurds

The French government will send weapons to Kurdish troops in Iraq to fight the forces of Islamists (see Iraq: Current Policy).

Pressures to cancel arms deal with Russia

The press is increasing on the French government to cancel an arms deal with Russia, which includes, among other things, two Mistral warships since Germany canceled arms sales. France has ensured that the deal will not be subject to EU sanctions against Russia, citing the severe consequences that a cancellation of sales would cause for shipyard workers who would lose their jobs.


Green light for banning the veil

In a ruling, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the 2010 French veil ban does not violate religious freedom. According to the law, women are not allowed to wear a comprehensive veil in public places (see also Religion).

New investigation against Sarkozy

July 1st

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is taken in for questioning by anti-corruption police. An investigation is already underway on irregularities in connection with Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign, among other things, he is suspected of receiving money from the then Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. What he is being heard about now is whether he has tried to obtain inside information about that investigation from a judge. Shortly thereafter, Sarkozy, his lawyer and a judge are formally accused of corruption.


UMP leaders resign

Jean-Francois Copé resigns as leader of the UMP after a corruption scandal was discovered in connection with Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign.

Defeat of the Socialist Party in EU elections

May 25

President Hollande and his Socialist Party suffer yet another major hardship in the election to the European Parliament. Preliminary results show that the party only ended up in third place in the election with about 14 percent of the vote. The big whale stands for the National Front. About 25 percent of voters cast their votes on the party, which is also ahead of the UMP, which has received about 21 percent of the vote. (25/5)


Reform of the government

Shortly after the election results became known, President Hollande undergoes a reorganization of the government. Jean-Marc Ayrault may hand over the Prime Minister’s post to Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

Success for the right in local elections

March 23rd

Opposition is strongly advancing in local elections, while the Socialist Party suffers defeat in 155 cities with over 9,000 inhabitants. Several of the cities have been controlled by the socialists for several decades. UMP wins in several important cities such as Quimper, Toulouse, Limoges. At the same time, the National Front makes its best choice since the 1990s and wins in 14 cities. The only bright spot for Hollande and the Socialist Party is that the party’s candidate Anne Hidalgo wins the mayoral election in Paris. She thus becomes the first female mayor of the capital ever.


Hollande promises measures against unemployment

President Hollandes has long been planning a press conference on economic policy in the shadow of his alleged love story with actress, Julie Gayet. Hollande promises to take on unemployment. He also wants to introduce tax cuts for companies of the equivalent of EUR 30 billion and reduce government spending by EUR 50 billion over the course of three years.

France Energy and Environment Facts

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