The European Climate Foundation asked Harris Interactive to run two studies about how the Energy Transition is perceived by French entrepreneurs and citizens. 1,800 French leaders and citizens answered Harris Interactive’s questions between April and May 2013.
The surveys, conducted by the European Climate Foundation in conjunction with the French Economic, Social Affairs and Environment Council, are the first major opinion polls conducted in France on the issue.
If not comprehensive, this study points out very interesting results. Thus, the findings show that most of inerviewed people believe the energy transition will have a positive long-term impact on the French economy through technological innovation, new markets’ access, firms’ attractiveness and on employment.
“Business leaders make clear that the cost of energy is a concern. 76% complained about a lack of financial resources and voiced the need for public support […] (68%). While 91% of respondents from the business community see a key role for the banking sector here, 59% support the use of revenues from carbon trading such as the EU ETS or from ecological taxes to finance the transition.”
Interestingly, about half of citizens consider the French government as one of the main barriers to a successful energy transition. “Business leaders accept that French companies will have to play a role in the transition (87%), but a greater number believes responsibility lies with scientists (96%), the government (90%) and the European Union (89%).”
Moreover this study has been a good mean to revive the French debate on Energy Transition. Unfortunately, the late Energy and Environment Minister’s dismissal reduces the odds to get an ambitious output for this national process.
In a forthcoming post how business leaders can take advantage of Governments in their role to manage the Energy Transition, within EU Member States.
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