New budget cuts loom over the Ministry of Ecological Transition

Spring is advancing and threats of budget cuts are getting closer to the Ministry of Ecological Transition. After being the most affected sector and having already lost 2.2 billion euros during the first round of savings announced on February 19, Minister Christophe Béchu knows that he will undoubtedly be called upon once again. By the middle of the year, Bercy and Matignon are once again seeking around ten billion euros to improve the state of public finances by cutting current credits for the year 2024. “We are well aware that there will be efforts to make”we slip into the Hôtel de Roquelaure where we describe a Christophe Béchu who is very attentive to the good management of public finances as former mayor of Angers.

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Following the indiscretions of one of the ministers of the ecology pole, the sum of 1.4 billion euros of new savings is circulating and several sources cite a range going from 1 to 1.4 billion euros. Mr. Béchu and his entourage are calling for caution, having not yet received the official letter from the Ministry of the Economy and Public Finance which is launching the process, even if informal discussions between the cabinets are underway. “Today, we hope that the savings requested will be much lower than the cuts at the start of the year”warns the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Given the very gloomy economic context, the negotiations promise to be tight for Mr. Béchu who could lose a new part of the budget increase included in the last finance bill, that is to say 7 billion euros additional credits for the year 2024. “It’s quite inconsistent with the September announcementsestimates Emeline Notari, responsible for monitoring financing for the ecological transition within the Climate Action Network. There was a lot of work to define climate trajectories, then calculations to achieve the objectives with the different financing steps. And, a few months later, these efforts are erased, this really poses a problem because all the players need visibility. »

“Too early” to plan

The avenues outlined to find savings reveal the flaws in the ecological transition. As is often the case, the idea of ​​digging into the treasuries of state agencies is mentioned, but other recourses show that planning, supposed to improve the coordination of public policies, still has progress to make. As in February, when it had already lost 1 billion euros, the budget devoted to MaPrimeRénov’, the system which helps individuals to better insulate their homes, is in the viewfinder, according to several sources. Its increase of 1.6 billion euros was, however, one of the victories claimed by the Macronists most concerned by climate issues.

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