France Plans to Discontinue the Search for Oil and Natural Gas


Many countries have taken steps to reduce pollution and combat climate change, but France is going one step farther. It will soon discontinue the granting of licenses that allow for the exploration of oil and natural gas. The transition to cleaner forms of energy has become the policy of the French government under its new leader, President Emmanuel Macron.
The transition away from fossil fuels will be incorporated into a new French law that is expected to be officially released in the fall. Macron had previously expressed opposition to the continued exploration of oil and gas and of fracking, a method of extracting these substances from the ground, in France and in its territories. The new French plan is discussed in detail at
Macron also hopes to reduce energy consumption and pollution through a program dedicated to renovating residential properties in France. A law that was previously enacted is designed to reduce the French dependence on nuclear energy by 25 percent in less than a decade. Approximately three-quarters of the electrical power used in the country is derived from nuclear generators, but the primary concern pertains to the status of workers should a significant number of plants be closed. The nuclear power industry in France currently employs some 200,000 workers.
In order to avoid trapping himself into a promise that might not be met, Macron did not provide a specific year when the energy transition would be completed. Outside observers noted that such a transition would be easier for France that for other countries, especially as Great Britain, which has much larger oil and gas reserves and is thus far more dependent upon these sources of energy. Concern has also been expressed by observers who desire a gradual transition away from the use of oil and gas, and who anticipate the initiation of legal action by energy companies.
Macron does have the support of fellow European Arnold Schwarzeneggar. The Austrian-born Hollywood star and former governor of California was recently in France, where he praised Macron and other members of the French government for their commitment to energy reform. Schwarzeneggar had criticized a fellow Republican, President Donald Trump, for his lack of leadership in the area.

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