Factbox: Hot air? Where Macron and Le Pen stand on climate and energy - Reuters

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A general view shows the four cooling towers and the reactors of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France, February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron branded a proposal by his presidential rival Marine Le Pen to ban wind turbines an "aberration" on Thursday. read more

While Macron promotes renewables as important for a carbon-neutral future and an opportunity to create jobs, Le Pen wants to dismantle existing wind farms.

Here is where the two stand on some major climate and energy issues:

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* ENERGY SOURCES

LE PEN

She says she would adhere to the 2015 Paris climate agreement targets, which demand its signatories collectively limit greenhouse gas emissions to keep the temperature rise "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) this century.

She would double-down on nuclear, building 20 EPR reactors, extending the life of existing plants to 60 years from more than 40 and re-opening the Fessenheim plant shut in 2020.

However, she would scrap subsidies for Solar and wind energy, saying this would save the treasury 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), and insist energy produced from them be sold at the market rate. She would impose a moratorium on new wind and Solar projects and progressively dismantle existing land-based wind farms.

She supports hydroelectric, hydrogen and geothermal energy.

MACRON

Macron too bets on nuclear in his push for carbon neutrality by 2050. In February, he said state utility EDF (EDF.PA) would build and operate at least six more reactors and hoped to extend the life of older nuclear plants to more than 50 years, when safe. read more

He also promised to accelerate the development of Solar and offshore wind power. Solar capacity would increase tenfold to exceed 100 GW by 2050.

France would target 40GW of offshore wind power by 2050, while there would be less focus on onshore wind, he said.

Macron has painted himself as a champion of fighting climate change, but French courts have ordered his government to do more to reach its climate goals. His first environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, resigned over frustration that Macron was not taking bold enough action. read more

* TRANSPORT

LE PEN

She says ramping up nuclear power output will allow France to meet additional demand resulting from a shift towards electric-powered vehicles. In the meantime she would cut VAT on petrol and diesel to 5.5% from 20% to help drivers deal with surging fuel prices.

MACRON

His government offers subsidies to buy EVs and he pledges to develop a leasing programme for low-income households, with at least 100,000 available for less than 100 euros per month.

But he has resisted reducing taxes on fuel in part because it would encourage the use of polluting vehicles. An increase in diesel tax in 2018 triggered months of sometimes violent anti-government protests.

He also wants to become a leader in green hydrogen. In 2021 he said France would invest 2 billion euros in its development.

* BUSINESS

LE PEN

She has said she would negotiate with the European Union for small- and medium-sized businesses, artisans and local businesses be given priority in public bids for green-transition and renovation projects.

MACRON

His government in November committed to end public financing for unabated oil, gas and coal by the end of 2022. He proposes linking the pay of executives of big companies to meeting their environmental and social targets. He also would ensure companies make clear for consumers the environmental impact of their purchases.

He has also touted the virtues of a recycling-oriented circular economy, without going into detail.

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Compiling by Makini Brice; Editing by Richard Lough and David Holmes

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