President Emmanuel Macron said France would aim to become a leader in green hydrogen by 2030 and build new, smaller nuclear reactors as he unveiled a five-year investment plan on Tuesday aimed at fostering industrial champions and innovation.
“We must wage the battle of innovation and industrialisation at the same time,” the French president told a gathering of business leaders and young entrepreneurs, unveiling plans to invest 30 billion euro ($35 billion) to “re-industrialise” the country.
Macron was speaking six months ahead of France’s presidential election, in which he is expected to seek a second five-year term at the Elysée Palace.
He said his long-term roadmap, dubbed “France 2030”, would give a key role to small, agile start-ups in building France’s industrial future alongside well-established giants.
Pointing to a shortage of face masks when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, Macron said the pandemic had exposed vulnerabilities and highlighted the need for innovation and industrial capabilities close to home.
“We must rebuild a framework to ensure the productive independence of France and Europe,” he said.
Macron said France would aim to build the first low-carbon plane by 2030 and also to build large numbers of electric vehicles.
The 30 billion euros come in addition to a 100-billion-euro recovery plan announced last year to help France weather the coronavirus pandemic, a large share of which went to promoting greener energy policies.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)