SINGLE COUNTRY PROFILE

Basic Information
Year of approval of the SD strategy and updates

The French SDG roadmap was approved on September 2019.

Type of SD strategy

The NSDS covers all three dimension of SD.

Lead ministry/institution in the SD strategy process

Ministère de la Transition écologique (Ministry of Ecological Transition)

Link to the SD strategy document
Further information about the SD strategy process
Agenda 2030 Implementation

France has promoted sustainable development since the adoption of its first sustainable development strategy in 2003 and the appointment of an Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development under the authority of the Prime Minister and located within the Ministry of Environment, which is in charge of Sustainable Development.

Since 2008, the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development is also Commissioner General for Sustainable Development.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals builds on and strengthens previous institutional mechanisms.

Being as well the vice-Chair of the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE), the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development ensures that the SDGs implementation is discussed between administrations and civil society’s organisations.

In order to launch the SDGs implementation in France, in view of the “Voluntary National Review” presented at the UN High Level Political Forum in 2016,  a broad consultation workshop was organised during the European Sustainable Development Week gathering representatives from civil society’s organisations from every areas : representatives from the National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE) involved in environmental issues, from the National Council for Development and International Solidarity (CNDSI) involved Development Aid, and representatives from the other areas of society, especially the educational and social areas.

This was the kickstart of the elaboration of new French NSDS, namely the SDGs roadmap, mandated by the Interministerial Committee on Cooperation and International Development (CICID) chaired by the Prime Minister in February 2018. More than 200 representatives of non governmental organizations, together with representatives of Ministries and local authorities, participated in the 2-year process of elaboration of the French SDG roadmap.

Leading Ministry and respective unit

The Ministry of Ecological Transition (in charge of sustainable development), together with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

 The inter-ministerial delegate for sustainable development and commissioner general for sustainable development is responsible for the elaboration and implementation of the roadmap under the supervision of the Prime Minister.

Other ministries involved

Each ministry is involved. 

Main contact point for the implementation process

The interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development, under the authority of the Prime Minister and appointed within the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition as Commissioner General for Sustainable Development

Contact : stephane.bernaudon@developpement-durable.gouv.fr

Links to main websites/documents on national implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs
Voluntary National Reviews

France Voluntary National Review 2016 (in English and in French)

Vertical Integration

Vertical integration notably relies on the development of various partnerships for the local appropriation of the SDG’s.

The Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition has created a « toolbox » addressed to all structures and individuals aiming to sensitize to the 2030 Agenda and integrate the SDG’s in a project or action.

This guide, elaborated with 14 partners (including local authorities’ representatives) and published by the Comité 21, one of the main French sustainable development network, gives an insight into several pathways for the local implementation of the 17 SDG’s.and promotes the 2030 Agenda as a structuring framework, that the local governments can use to re-consider their sustainable development strategies.

EU linkages

France, together with a majority of member states within the Council of the European Union, has been advocating for the Commission to develop a comprehensive SDGs strategy.

Horizontal Integration

Since March 2005, Sustainable Development has been included in the French Constitution with the adoption of the Environmental Charter. This guarantees stronger efforts of including SD in the work of all public institutions. Each minister nominated one or more senior civil servants who are responsible for preparing the contribution of their administration to further developing the NSDS, co-ordinating the preparation of corresponding action plans and monitoring their implementation.

Since 2008, the Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development has also been Commissioner General for Sustainable Development .

The Interministerial Delegate for Sustainable Development coordinates the work of every ministries in order to ensure a better horizontal coordination of public policies towards achieving the SDGs in very close relation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is in charge of the international solidarity.

Review

France was the first EU Member State that organized a peer review process to evaluate the implementation of the NSDS with the inclusion of four peer countries (Belgium, Ghana, Mauritius and the UK) in 2005.

Every year, a report on progress in the implementation of the NSDS has been addressed to the Parliament. The report is based on the set of SD indicators.

Indicators

In a participatory process steered by the National Council for statistical information (CNIS) and associating various stakeholders, a set of 98 indicators has been selected in order to follow up the French progress towards the SDGs.

They notably include the 10 “New wealth indicators” covering environmental and social indicators beyond GDP (eg. Ecological footprint, inequality, life expectancy ) which were adopted by the “SAS act of 2015 and which are supposed to help monitor and assess every public policies, and especially the finance law.

State of play in France 2020 - transforming society through the SDGs

Released in november 2021, this working document is the result of actions taken by the Commissariat général au développement durable, in the Ministry of Ecological Transition, with the aim of providing a diagnosis of the situation in France, through the lens of the 2030 Agenda.  This document is structured around the challenges raised by France’s Roadmap for the 2030 Agenda and the targets of the 17 SDGs. It is based on numerous statistical indicators, mobilizes various studies as well as ministerial and civil society contributions.

France is also engaged in a work of evaluation and sharing of its actions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, within the frameworks of the European Semester and the Voluntary National Review. France currently coordinates the work of the WP Agenda 2030 within the framework of the French Presidency of the EU : this work is managed by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Participation

The elaboration process of the French SDGs roadmap process has been very participatory with more than 200 participants. Stakeholders (NGOs, local authorities, companies, ministries) co-piloted working groups and co-wrote the roadmap which is not a governmental strategy but a multi-stakeholder strategy. They also participated in selection of indicators selected to follow up the French progress towards the SDGs.

Report on SDGs by Florence Provendier, member of French Parliament

Called « Mobilizing and structuring the multi-stakeholder movement around the Sustainable Development Goals”, this report is the culmination of the temporary mission on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) entrusted in September 2021 by the Prime Minister to Florence Provendier. This document works towards the achievement of the SDGs and serves as a basis for reflection on ways to strengthen the implementation of France’s roadmap for the 2030 Agenda. It makes a useful contribution for different issues, such as proposing to use the SDGs as a compass to guide initial and continuing training, or to evaluate the State budget or the extra-financial performance of companies, through the lens of the SDGs.

Mobilizing and structuring the multi-stakeholder movement around the Sustainable Development Goals

Meetings for sustainable development (Rencontres du développement durable)

Created by the Open Diplomacy Institute, a transpartisan, independent and multidisciplinary think tank, the Meetings for sustainable development (i.e. Rencontres du développement durable) aim to enable all citizens to seize the challenges of the ecological and solidarity transition, by creating an annual and democratic meeting with decision-makers and sustainable development thinkers.  Launched in 2020, under the high patronage of the President of French Republic Emmanuel Macron, they aim to achieve, each year, the progress of the 2030 Agenda.

Subnational Activities

1.     Local tools

  • “Portraits of Territories” through SDG’s lenses.

The state’s local services (DREAL) in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region have developed a local declination of SDG’s indicators. From this range of indicators, the objectives are to create dynamic maps of a specific territory and to give an overview of this territory through SDG’s lenses. The aim here is to encourage the development of territorial projects integrating SDG’s.

A similar project has been developed in the Region of Occitanie by the local services of the State and various partners including local authorities.

The local services of the State (DREAL) / in the Region of Bretagne have developed a methodological framework to understand and implement locally the 17 SDG’s. It gives a “step-by-step” methodology, illustrated with a range of inspiring experiences of local appropriation of SDG’s by a various range of regional stakeholders.  


2. Local partnerships to gather initiatives working towards SDG’s implementations

Launched in January 2020, the Communauté Normande des Objectifs de Développement Durable(Normandy SDGs communauty) is a platform developed by the DREAL Normandy in partnerships with local authorities. It aims at identifying and highlighting regional initiatives through a collaborative and interactive online map.

3.     Examples of pioneer/leading territories in the local implementation of the 17 SDG’s

The City of Niort started its global approach “NIORT DURABLE 2030”, which implements locally the 2030 Agenda. As part of this global approach, it  adopted in September 2019 its roadmap elaborated through a strong participative process with local stakeholders,. It is structured around 8 main challenges, all composed of several strategic objectives illustrated with quantified targets.

  • Similarly, the City of Longvic has adopted its local 2030 Agenda in october 2018.
  • The City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg

The Eurometropolis of Strasbourg is involved in the localization of the SDG’s. It has notably used the reference framework for sustainable development (RFSC) to structure and report its actions such as the project “Ecoquartier Danube”. The City and the Eurometropolis are currently working on a SDG’s approach for their budget with the global objective of linking each capital expenditure to one or several SDG’s targets.

  • The City of Besançon

In 2018, Besançon participated in an experimental and learning approach to the localization of indicators, supported by the deconcentrated services of the State in the Region of Bourgogne Franche-Comté. The main goal of this approach is to measure the degree of contribution of a city to the SDG’s.

The Département of the Gironde has steered its public policies through the SDG’s but also through a process of Social Responsability of its organization. The Gironde has also been involved in a strong accountability process, notably by using mandatory annual sustainable development report as an accountability report for the implementation of the SDG’s. These reports are elaborated through an interactive process, by inviting the elected vice-presidencies to explain how their political priorities and their corresponding policies contribute to the SDG’s.