This study looks at French climate and agricultural policy, in particular Le plan Énergie Methanisation Autonomie Azote (EMAA) (translation: The Energy Methanisation Autonomy Nitrogen Plan), and assesses its transferability to the German context. Together with a package of supporting policies, EMAA provides a supportive framework for the development of agricultural methanisation in France, being the production of biogas and bio-methane from agricultural and other wastes. The policies enable investment subsidies for research and equipment, as well as guaranteed prices for their bioenergy products, achieving emissions reductions directly in the agricultural sector and across a range of subsectors, including transport, waste, electricity and heat.
The main potential for policy transfer to Germany lies in the comprehensive framing of the French policies within broader sustainability goals related to nutrient optimisation, rural development and agricultural reforms. Energy policy in Germany tends to be distanced from discussions about sustainable agriculture, so that a comprehensive (re-)framing in line with the French approach could help to overcome political barriers and unlock the future abatement potential of agricultural methanisation in Germany.
The present study forms part of a series of publications within the project “Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON)”. As part of this project, scientific analyses were conducted of national policy instruments that successfully led to greenhouse gas emission reductions in European countries in the building, transport, agriculture and small-industry sectors. The analyses particularly focused on the instruments’ effectiveness and their potential transferability to the German context.