France Plans to Ban All Petrol and Diesel Vehicles by 2040
France will aims to end production of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, according to the Telegraph. The environmentally friendly move was announced by new environment minister Nicolas Hulot at a press conference.
Mr. Hulot also pledged to make France carbon-neutral by 2050, saying, "The carbon neutral objective will force us to make the necessary investments."
The press conference, part of President Emmanuel Macron's "make the planet great again" pledge, was held on the heels of European automaker Volvo's own pledge to only make electric or hybrid vehicles starting in 2019. Mr. Hulot mentioned Volvo in his speech, admitting that it would be tough, and especially on automakers, but that the country was in a position to be able to do it.
In the meantime, the French government will subsidize the purchase of a newer vehicle for anyone who owns a petrol-powered vehicle that was made before 2001 or a diesel vehicle dating back before 1997.
Mr. Hulot also mentioned plans to end the use of coal power stations in France by 2022. Currently, coal is producing 5% of the nation's power. France also aims to lower nuclear power production levels from 75% to 50% of the country's total energy supply, setting a goal of 2025 for that initiative. Finally, there are plans in the works to stop delivery of hydrocarbon licenses. There are no dates lined up for that plan yet, but the French can expect to see legislation beginning the process at some point later in 2017, Hulot said.
After the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, President Macron promised to take over leadership of the fight against climate change. He's adopted the slogan "make the planet great again", which is a play on U.S. President Trump's "Make America great again" slogan. Mr. Macron has offered to support American climate scientists, suggesting that they leave the United States and travel to France.
The French President said that in order to be successful, the fight against climate change needed further effort than what the Paris Accords provide. Calling them "a step in the right direction", he said, "we need to continue to advance and show, in terms of concrete plans and financing, our ability to go beyond it."
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