ZEN 2050 – Imagining and building a carbon-neutral France

Commissioned by a group of companies from all sectors, the ZEN 2050 study explores the feasibility of carbon neutrality in France by 2050, in terms of the balance between emissions in metropolitan France and absorption through carbon sinks.

It identifies a number of conditions for a successful transition, and concludes with proposals for short-term actions that ensure the transformation remains economically and socially viable.

What approach? The methodology of the study, after reviewing existing studies, consisted in the convergence of two parallel projects:

  • A definition of carbon neutrality by 2050: what role would carbon sinks play? How would emission reductions required for neutrality be shared between economic sectors?
  • A sociological review of lifestyle changes conceivable by 2050, consistent with and respectful of France’s diversity.

Upon completion of these two projects, the study focused on transformation pathways towards this goal, and on the consequences for employment and investment in the sectors most directly affected.

The next stage consisted in identifying and describing in detail some of the conditions necessary for the success of these pathways.

The last stage of the study consisted in drawing up 14 recommandations for all actors on the short-term actions to be taken to ensure that 2050 neutrality compliant pathways remain within reach.