French PM asks industrialists to devise voluntary energy savings program

The goal is to reduce industrial consumption by 10 percent in two years

editor: REMIX NEWS
French entrepreneurs association Medef president Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, left, welcomes France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and and France's Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher, center, at the Hippodrome de Longchamp racetrack in Paris during the Medef summer conference Monday Aug. 29, 2022. (Eric Piermont, Pool via AP)

On Monday, French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne asked entrepreneurs to develop their own energy-saving program in September, because if energy consumption has to be limited, it will be the businesses that will be hit first in the coming months.

“I call on all businesses to create their own energy-saving program in September,” said the prime minister at the opening of the conference of the most important French employers’ association, Medef. “If everyone doesn’t do their part, we will have to impose a reduction in consumption. And if we have to resort to rationing, it will affect businesses first,” she warned.

Due to climate change and rising energy prices, the prime minister “asked for collective responsibility” in the field of energy-saving because she believes that “quicker and stronger” action must be taken.

“There is no time for half measures, it’s not the time for everyone to think only of themselves; the time has come for collective responsibility,” she emphasized. She indicated that she would prefer that everyone choose their own economic operation rather than having to suffer power outages.

Élisabeth Borne asked businesses to develop a program during September to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent in two years and thus prevent the government from forcing energy reductions in the economy.

“Every company must mobilize and act,” said the prime minister. She indicated that at the beginning of October, the government will summarize the proposals of the businesses.

Regarding individual consumers, the prime minister said: Everyone can save energy according to their own means, but “it is not the French who are living in energy uncertainty who have to make efforts now.”

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire stated on Saturday that in 2023 the increase in energy prices for the population will be “moderate.”

The government froze household energy prices more than a year ago.

The prime minister believes that the energy transition creates opportunities for companies in the field of innovation and job creation. She also said the government planned to reduce taxes on production and asked companies to start the necessary wage negotiations.

Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the president of Medef, promised the prime minister that businesses would “do their part” in the transition and asked the government to trust the entrepreneurial sector.

The Medef conference opened with an invitation from the president of Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky — who joined via video conference — asked French entrepreneurs to invest in his country after the war.

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