France looks set to completely ban the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of a major push to meet its climate change targets.
Its new environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced France’s bold new vision for going green by confirming that it would also phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2022.
As the cherry on top Hulot said that he plans to make France carbon neutral by 2050.
France isn’t the first country to start phasing out combustion engines in favour of low-carbon vehicles powered by electricity or hydrogen.
Last year one of Norway’s leading national newspapers confirmed that the country would be phasing out all petrol and diesel cars by 2025, while both Germany and India have expressed plans to cut out combustion engines by 2030.
While electric vehicles in France only make up less than two per cent the country does have one key advantage over other European nations. The French government still holds a considerable share in Peugeot, Citroen and Renault giving it a considerable amount of influence over the direction that these companies will take.
Mr Hulot, an ex-journalist and environmental campaigner, is just one of many new hires by French President Emmanuel Macron designed to shake up France’s current political climate.
Following in the footsteps of President Macron, Mr Hulot made it clear that France would not be following the same path as the US after it decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
Mr Hulot said: “France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision,”
President Macron has been openly critical of President Trump’s decision and in a speech made following the US’s decision to leave he called upon the rest of the world to re-double its efforts.
“I can assure you, France will not give up the fight. I reaffirm clearly that the Paris Agreement remains irreversible and will be implemented. Not just by France but by all the other nations.
“Over the coming hours I will have the opportunity to speak with our main partners to define a common strategy and to launch new initiatives. I already know that I can count on them.
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“I call on your to remain confident. We will succeed because we are fully committed because wherever live, wherever we are, we all share the same responsibility. Make our planet great again.”
Automotive companies as well as countries are also starting to pledge a serious commitment towards electric vehicles.
Volvo announced yesterday that it would only sell vehicles with electric motors in them by 2019.
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