French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a 5-year € 30 billion ($ 35 billion) investment plan for the development of innovative technologies, including small nuclear reactors, electric cars and greener planes
PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday unveiled a 5-year investment plan of 30 billion euros ($ 35 billion) for the development of innovative technologies and industrial activities, including the construction of small nuclear reactors , electric cars and greener planes.
“If we Europeans, and above all we French, want to be able to choose our future, it is essential that we win (…) the battle for independence and better living conditions,” Macron said.
The plan includes 8 billion euros ($ 9.2 billion) to develop energy technology that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Macron said the funding would fund the construction of small modular nuclear reactors in France, which depends on nuclear power for 70% of its electricity.
European Union leaders have agreed for two years that nuclear power could be part of the bloc of 27’s pledge to make its economy carbon neutral by 2050, giving member countries the opportunity to use in their national energy packages.
The issue has sparked heated debate within the EU, however, with Germany and some other countries arguing that nuclear power should not be included in greener energy funding plans as it requires the extraction and long-term storage of radioactive waste.
In his Tuesday announcement, Macron also pledged to make France by 2030 “the leader in green electricity”, a form of energy that does not emit carbon dioxide and can be used in industries such as steel and chemical manufacturing that currently rely on fossil fuels. .
The plan calls for 4 billion euros ($ 4.6 billion) to develop around 2 million electric and hybrid cars by the end of the decade.
In addition, France will “invest massively” in the construction of its first “low carbon aircraft” by 2030, a project likely to involve European cooperation, Macron underlined. He did not give details of the technology that would be used. The plan also includes funds to develop by 2026 a reusable launch system to propel spacecraft.
France’s strategy aims to support innovative technologies in other sectors, including agrifood, cinema and medicine.
Macron has presented the plan as a continuation of policies his government has implemented over the past four years to lower corporate taxes and encourage hiring and investment.
The 43-year-old centrist president has yet to announce whether he will run for re-election next year, but he is expected to. Macron was elected in 2017 on a pro-European and pro-business platform.