May 19. 2024. 12:59

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French highway companies could soon pay for green transition


Highway companies will also have to foot the green transition bill, French Transport Minister Clément Beaune told Le Monde in an interview published on Friday.

In 2021, France’s transport sector topped the emissions charts, emitting 30% of the country’s greenhouse gases, followed by agriculture and industry (19%), and the building sector (18%), according to the High Climate Council. The highest polluters in the transport sector included cars (53%), trucks (27%), commercial vehicles (14%) and aviation (3%).

To compensate for these high emissions, highway companies will have to “contribute financially to the ecological transition”, said Beaune, adding that “we will discuss this in the coming months, without any taboos, including on the tax front.”

In the short term, freeway companies’ profits would be used “to invest more in the ecological transition”, in particular through electric terminals or carpooling parking lots, which are already located on some freeway areas, he added.

When asked about taxing the record profits companies have made in the last three years, Beaune said that Macron “himself presented a mechanism at the European level that taxes these superprofits”.

“This contribution already finances in the budget for 2023 exceptional expenses such as the tariff shield,” he added.

The French are concerned about the profits made by companies like Total, which announced a €20 billion profit for 2022.

“The CEO of Total wanted to anticipate the controversy by implementing a new rebate. What is good for the purchasing power is always good to take, but we must first use this money to finance the ecological transition rather than support fossil fuel,” he added.

(Clara Bauer-Babef | EURACTIV.fr)