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Spotlight on France at the 2020 World Biogas Summit with Stéphane Le Foll and Edouard Sauvage

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The French perspective on biogas will be presented by the Mayor of Le Mans and former Minister of Agriculture and the head of Gaz Réseau Distribution France (GRDF).

The World Biogas Summit 2020, organised online by the World Biogas Association (WBA) in partnership with the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) will welcome the Mayor of Le Mans and former Minister of Agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, and the CEO of GRDF, Edouard Sauvage, next October 7 to put the spotlight on the development of biogas in France.

The participation of Mr Le Foll will be in two parts; the first, as Mayor of Le Mans, will see him present the Le Mans Métropole Sustainable Development Plan during a debate on anaerobic digestion and biogas in cities, in which Mr Sauvage will also take part to illustrate GRDF’s commitment to the expansion of the biogas and biomethane network in France.

Mr Le Foll’s second intervention will draw on his experience as Minister of Agriculture in the Cabinet of Président Hollande (2012-2017) with a speech on the growth of anaerobic digestion in agriculture and the future of this technology in the French rural community.

David Newman, President of the WBA, said: “We will be very honoured to welcome Mr Le Foll and Mr Sauvage to our Summit – two key figures in the deployment of biogas infrastructure in France and in the fight against climate change, which is the source of all our efforts to decarbonise the global economy. A few months before COP26 and the deadline for the signatories of the Paris Agreement to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions, the example of France will be particularly relevant and valuable to all of our participants.

Biogas is booming in France,” added Charlotte Morton, WBA’s Chief Executive. “Globally, our industry has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases by 12% and create between 11 and 15 million jobs by 2030. The French market is particularly dynamic and we will be delighted to benefit from the experience of Mr. Le Foll and Mr. Sauvage at the Summit. We thank them wholeheartedly for having accepted our invitation and we look forward to hearing their testimony.


Stéphane Le Foll

Early political career:
Born in Le Mans, Stéphane Le Foll was elected to the European Parliament for the Socialist Party, part of Party of European Socialists, in 2004. He served until 2012, when he was appointed to the French Government. While he successfully stood as a candidate for the National Assembly in the 2012 legislative election, he resigned to remain Minister of Agriculture.
Minister of Agriculture:
As Minister of Agriculture in all governments appointed by François Hollande, he was in charge of reforming the Common Agricultural Policy. He also put an accent on “re-socialising rural territories in France”. In 2014, he became Government Spokesperson, holding the weekly press briefing at the Elysée Palace. In 2016, he became the longest-serving Minister of Agriculture since the office was established in 1836.
Mayor of Le Mans:
He was re-elected to the National Assembly in 2017. In 2018, Stéphane Le Foll became Mayor of Le Mans and was re-elected as Mayor of Le Mans and President of Le Mans Metropole in June 2020. He is VP at 4 per 1000 initiative.

Edouard Sauvage
Edouard Sauvage is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées. From 1993 to 1995, he worked for the French Administration for Regional Planning and Action (DATAR) and then for the French Prime Minister Alain Juppé as a Technical Advisor.
In 1997, he joined EDF GDF Services – at that time the French gas and electricity DSO, where he held various management responsibilities.
In 2003, he was appointed co-Director of the International Division of Gaz de France supervising European distribution subsidiaries and development projects notably the acquisition of Distrigaz Sud the Romanian gas distribution of Bucharest and south Romania.
In 2005, he was appointed Head of Natural Gas Supplies at Gaz de France and was in charge of long-term gas contracts negotiations and LNG operations. After the merger with Suez he oversaw Gas Supply for the group.
He became Strategy Director of the GDF SUEZ Group and a member of the Group’s Executive Committee in 2013. Since January 2016, he has been Managing Director of GRDF, the main operator of the French gas distribution network which supplies 11 million customers for a turnover of around 3.5 billion euros.

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Jocelyne Bia, Senior Communications Consultant
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Notes to editors:

  • The World Biogas Summit 2020 will run in parallel with the World Biogas Expo 2020 in an interconnected, online programme, featuring companies presenting their technologies and services and dedicated sessions providing expert insights into policy, technical and operational aspects of the industry.
  • Launched at COP22 in Marrakesh in 2016, the World Biogas Association is the global trade association for the biogas, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors, and is dedicated to facilitating the adoption of biogas globally. It believes that the global adoption of biogas technologies is a multi-faceted opportunity to produce clean, renewable energy while resolving global issues related to development, public health and economic growth. @wbatweets
  • The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy. @adbioresources
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