What does Article 29 of the French law on Energy and Climate change for non-financial reporting ?

Article 29 of the French law on Energy and Climate law aligns the non-financial reporting obligations of French companies with European norms. It also complements some community regulations.

The decree is a primordial text for France’s transition towards green finance. It complements the law in three areas: the climate, biodiversity, and taking into account environmental, social, and qualitative factors of governance (ESG) within financial institutions.

Which are the new obligations imposed by this article? How do you align your company’s reporting with the article? What is the imposed timeframe? How can carbometrix help you? This article will answer all these questions and more, to explain the implications of article 29 of the Energy and Climate law.

 

Article 29, affirming France’s leadership in ESG

What are the goals of Article 29 of the Energy and Climate law ?

Article 29 was put into action on the 27th May 2021. It was adopted within the 2019-1147 law on the 8th november 2019 (the law on Energy and Climate, otherwise known as LEC).

The article falls firmly within European law, itself heavily influenced by a pioneering French legislative framework since 2015. It has three goals:

  • To conserve France’s lead in non-financial reporting: since 2015, following the Paris climate agreement, France has forced investors to publish the procedures for integrating ESG criteria into their activities and has encouraged them to take climate risks into account. These obligations are formalised in article 173-VI of the Energy Transition Law for Green Growth
  • To be aligned with European law and taxonomy, the latter of which determines which activities are the most sustainable. The article aims to promote investment for these activities.
  • To complete existing French and European legislation by going further with non-financial reporting, especially for the climate, biodiversity and taking ESG factors into account.

What progress has been made by Article 29 compared to previous legislation?

Article 29 specifies the information that investors have to give in their ESG reporting. The article affects more companies and focuses on 3 main areas:

  • The climate: climate reporting has been refined, meaning that investors will have to measure their carbon footprint and set goals for 2030 to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Biodiversity: reporting on biodiversity will be mandated from 2022. Financial institutions will have to measure their impact on biodiversity and change their investment strategy to reduce said impact.
  • ESG risks: assessing these risks is now part of a company’s general risk assessment, as the article insists on aligning classic financial risks with those related to climate change and the destruction of biodiversity.

A demanding decree for management companies

Who is concerned by Article 29 ?

More companies are affected by the article, with French law imposing a threshold of 500 million Euros and the European Union planning on imposing a threshold of 500 employees.

Most French management companies are thus affected by the Article, with obligations starting in 2023. 

Portfolio management and the investment activities of banks, credit institutions, and investment firms will now be subject to obligations by Article 29.

From 2023, these companies will have to publish their activities and indicate how much they are aligned with European law and taxonomy. They will also have to reveal investments linked to fossil fuels.

What are the new obligations to do with the climate?

Article 29 imposes the following climate-related obligations:

  • Set goals for a low-carbon future: to be in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement, investors have to set clear goals for reducing emissions by 2030 (and a subsequent goal every 5 years until 2050). These goals have to include all greenhouse gas emissions

→ The goals can be set as a target amount or in relation to a certain year (like a target temperature for 2030)

  •  Have a clear reporting methodology for emissions, and indicate the coverage, the aggregation methods, the time frame, the estimations based on data, and the energy-climate scenarios for each sector and geographical region.
  •  Publish an alignment strategy with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, with sustainable activities as defined by European taxonomy, with activities linked to fossil fuels, and the methodology used each time. All information will have to be shared with ADEME, the French agency for ecological transition.

How to align with the obligations of Article 29 ?

What is the time frame for implementing the decree?

The decree will be implemented following strict deadlines: 

  • From 2022 (over the 2021 financial year) reporting on alignment with the Paris Agreement and the preservation of biodiversity will be implemented.
  • From 2023 (over the 2022 financial year) all the points of the Article will be implemented.

It is therefore urgent to follow the new legislation on reporting emissions in companies, as the reporting for 2021 will need to take the brand new legislation into account.

What steps can be taken to conform with Article 29 ?

When it comes to the climate, Article 29 imposes more precision when reporting carbon emissions and setting goals within a company. A rigorous analysis of one’s portfolio, emissions and carbon-neutral goals is thus needed:

  • Portfolio analysis: this requires an in-depth study of emissions financed by your company. You will have to determine the carbon footprint of each company you have invested in and calculate a ratio depending on the shares you own.
  • Emissions analysis must take into account all your company’s direct and indirect emissions, without forgetting scope 3 emissions, so as to have a complete view of your carbon footprint.
  • Developing carbon-neutral goals means determining which are your main emitters, so you can set efficient and realistic goals to reduce emissions.

To help you conform with Article 29, you can contact an expert at carbometrix who will help you analyse your carbon emissions.

How can carbometrix help you conform with Article 29 ?

Legislation concerning reporting on greenhouse gas emissions, be it French or European, has been very innovative for transitioning financial sectors towards more sustainable practices.

Nevertheless, legislation, due its many specifications and ramifications, is often complex so can be hard to understand.

In order to save time and have precise analyses of emissions, it is recommended that you contact an expert.

carbometrix specialises in calculating greenhouse gas emissions and can help you properly follow such legislation. Most of the time, conforming with Article 29 means having a complete carbon footprint analysis.

carbometrix can help calculate your emissions and help reduce them:

  • carbometrix calculate the total carbon footprint of the companies you invest in, in order to determine the entirety of emissions you have financed. Scope 3 emissions, meaning indirect emissions and emissions related to investments and debts, will be included.
  • carbometrix will then help you align your reporting with legislation and set realistic goals for reducing carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. 

Conclusion

Article 29 pushes companies to seriously deal with their greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to really transform the financial sector. More than just reporting, the Article requires long-term engagements from management and investment companies.

This new legislation is a step forward for green finance, but its complexity may mean that you require an expert to make sure you conform with it.

If you wish to speak to an expert for your reporting, don’t hesitate to contact us today!