France - OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review, 2013
France: a good donor but must ensure that poor countries get the aid they need
France’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) was USD 12.1 billion in 2012, making it the 4th largest member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee in terms of the volume of aid. However, this represents 0.46% of French Gross National Income (GNI) – below France’s international commitment. The review recommends that France plan to reach the 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio as soon as possible.
OECD’s review of French aid commends the country’s overall strategic vision for development and its engagement at the global level to promote development, including innovative ways of financing. France focuses in particular on health, environment and climate change, mobilises private investments and promotes greater transparency in international financial transactions. The review recommends, however, that France do more to support civil society organisations and gender equality, and to build stronger capacity for developing countries to manage their own futures. France could also do more to monitor the results of its development efforts.
A multidimensional commitment to combating climate change
France is actively engaged in fighting climate change. On the international front, it was co-chair, with South Africa, of the G20 Study Group on Climate Finance. It has used this position (which it held until October 2012) to insist on the need to mobilise innovative financing and promote a streamlined international financial architecture with the creation of the "Green climate fund". France has also declared its willingness to host the United Nations conference on climate change in 2015 (Hollande, 2012).
On the domestic front, the "Grenelle de l’environnement” has since 2007 strengthened the environment and climate change component of public policies. Although this process seemed to be losing momentum, in September 2012 France adopted a roadmap on energy transition, and is now seeking to mobilise private investment to this end (Gouv, 2012). France has also increased substantially the portion of its ODA allocated to combating climate change, and AFD has become a key player in this field. Today it is looking at ways to improve the reporting of its projects and financing related to climate change. (Box 1.1 p.29)