France eyes tax incentives for green industry investment -minister
PARIS (Reuters) - The French government is looking at introducing tax incentives to spur investment in climate-friendly industrial projects as part of a planned green industry law, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday.
Like many governments in Europe, Paris is concerned that its industrial sector could fall behind on green technologies due to generous tax subsidies offered in the United States under the Biden administration's $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act.
Le Maire has tasked several lawmakers and business leaders to come up with ideas to boost green industry investment in France, aimed at presenting a new law in June.
"To have a green industrial sector, it's got to be financed, so we need new financing, either public or private," Le Maire told journalists.
Financing measures could include tax credits and changes to asset depreciation rules that would make it more attractive for companies to invest in green technologies, he said.
Public procurement rules could be adapted to boost demand for more climate-friendly goods and private investment could also be spurred by creating new savings products, Le Maire said.
Lawmaker Damien Adam said one idea was to create a new class of tax-free savings accounts with a regulated interest rate to finance long-term investments.
Industry Minister Roland Lescure raised the possibility last month of tapping into popular tax-free accounts, which already exist in France for financing public housing and other social projects, to finance a drive to build six new nuclear reactors over the coming decades.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Leslie Adler)