Quantcast
Climate

France to Ban Sale of Cars Powered by Gasoline and Diesel

France plans to end the sale of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel by 2040, environment minister Nicolas Hulot said.

Hulot made the announcement Thursday in Paris as he launched the country's new Climate Plan to accelerate the transition to clean energy and to meet its targets under the Paris climate agreement.


To ease the transition, Hulot said the French government will offer tax incentives to replace fossil-fuel burning cars with clean alternatives.

"The government will offer each French person a bonus to replace their diesel car dating before 1997 or petrol from before 2001 by a new or second-hand vehicle," he said.

"The target is a tough one," he noted, "but France wants to become the No. 1 green economy."

Hulot is a former TV host of nature documentaries and a popular environmental activist. His appointment as ecology minister was seen as a major "coup" by French President Emmanuel Macron's new administration.

The new environment minister cited the example of a "European maker" that decided to embrace the electrification of vehicles.

That was a clear reference to Volvo, which announced Wednesday that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking a "historic end" to the internal combustion engine. Volvo is the first mainstream carmaker to commit to phasing out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels.

France is not alone in outlawing gas guzzlers. Norway is banning the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in 2025. Germany plans to ban the internal combustion engine by 2030. India also intends to be a "100 percent electric vehicle nation" by 2030.

As Bloomberg noted, France intends to end oil and gas exploration in French territory, eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2022 and encourage homeowners to produce their own energy. It also aims to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050.

"France's pledge to move beyond dirty fossil fuel-powered cars shows that bold national commitments to clean transportation are possible," Sierra Club Electric Vehicles Initiative Director Gina Coplon-Newfield said. "By making the switch to electric vehicles that will increasingly plug into renewable sources of electricity, France is decelerating the climate crisis and accelerating its commitment to the Paris Agreement.

"While Donald Trump takes the low road by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, world leaders like Macron are taking the high road, knowing that clean energy is not only the economic choice, it's the responsible choice for communities and the environment. U.S. policy makers should follow France's lead so that we reach the end of the road for dirty transportation."

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Animals
Brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. NPS Photo / B. Plog

Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska, Conservation Groups Say

The Trump administration has proposed new regulations to overturn an Obama-era rule that protects iconic predators in Alaska's national preserves.

Wildlife protection organizations condemned the move, as it would allow hunters to go to den sites to shoot wolf pups and bear cubs, lure and kill bears over bait, hunt bears with dogs and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Such hunting methods were banned on federal lands in 2015 that are otherwise permitted by the state.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
An Asian elephant eating tree bark. Yathin S Krishnappa / CC BY-SA 3.0

5 Conservation Milestones to Celebrate on This International Day for Biological Diversity

Scientists are increasingly realizing the importance of biodiversity for sustaining life on earth. The most comprehensive biodiversity study in a decade, published in March by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), warned that the ongoing loss of species and habitats was as great a threat to our and our planet's wellbeing as climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Deep-sea corals may not be flashy, but they deserve a second look. Oceana

Ignoring Deep-Sea Corals Is Risky for the Oceans, and for Us

By Nathan Johnson

The deep sea might be cold and dark, but it's not barren. Down here, an incredible diversity of corals shelters young fish like grouper, snapper and rockfish. Sharks, rays and other species live and feed here their whole lives.

Brightly colored coral gardens, far beyond the reach of the sun's rays, don't just nurture deep-sea life. They also help advance medical research and understand climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Kristian Buus / Greenpeace

Green Groups Balk at England’s Plan to Fast Track Fracking

Government ministers published proposals Thursday that would speed the development of fracking in England, igniting opposition from environmental groups and local communities, The Independent reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy

Before Royal Wedding Sermon, Rev. Curry Stood With Standing Rock Pipeline Opponents

Bishop Michael Curry, who delivered a passionate wedding sermon to royal newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday, also gave a powerful message about two years ago to Dakota Access Pipeline protesters at Standing Rock, North Dakota.

On Sept. 24, 2016 at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, the reverend offered the Episcopal Church's solidarity with the water protectors, noting that, "Water is a gift of the Creator. We must protect it. We must conserve it. We must care for it."

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Coral bleaching like this (in the Great Barrier Reef) is killing the largest reef in Japan. Oregon State University / CC BY-SA 2.0

Only 1% of Japan’s Largest Reef Still Healthy After Historic Bleaching Catastrophe

In a sobering reminder of the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity, a survey by the Japanese government found that barely more than one percent of the coral in the country's largest coral reef is healthy, AFP reported Friday.

The reef, located in the Sekisei Lagoon near Okinawa, has suffered mass coral bleaching events due to rising sea temperatures in 1998, 2001, 2007 and 2016.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy

Train Carrying 250,000 Liters of Fuel Derails on Kenyan Coast

A cargo train carrying 250,000 liters (66,000 gallons) of super petroleum, or unleaded gasoline, derailed off its tracks after taking a sharp turn along Kenya's eastern coast, forcing the closure of a major highway over the weekend, according to local reports.

The accident occurred early Sunday in Kibarani in Mombasa County, and prompted authorities to completely close off Makupa Causeway, the main link between the mainland and Mombasa Island, fearing a fire would break out after spillage of the highly flammable liquid, The Star, Kenya reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
The farm bill's historic conservation provisions are important for preserving grassland biodiversity, like this black-footed ferret and prairie dog. USFWS Mountain-Prairie / CC BY 2.0

Farm Bill Harmful to Endangered Species and Conservation Fails in House

A farm bill with dangerous consequences for endangered species and conservation efforts failed to pass the House on Friday, The Guardian reported.

The 2018 version of the major agricultural bill was criticized by environmental groups because it would have allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve new pesticides without assessing their impact on wildlife protected under the Endangered Species Act. The bill would also have cut funding for land conservation programs by $800 million over the next ten years.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!