Quantcast
Popular
Oil pumping station on Lake of Parentis, France. Wikimedia Commons

France Plans to Ban Fossil Fuel Production

By Hannah McKinnon

Unprecedented and "never-before-seen" impacts of climate change are all around us. From Hurricanes' Harvey and Irma to massive flooding in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to forest fires burning through the west coast of North America—climate change is here and now, and it is catastrophic.

Fortunately, unprecedented and never-before-seen climate policy is also starting to take hold. While the devastating impacts of climate change demand a rapid response and emergency support, the true measure of political commitment is how far governments will go to stop digging us deeper into this hole.


Today, France (including overseas territories) is positioning itself to become the first country to ban all exploration permits and renewals for unconventional fuels as well as banning the conversion of exploration permits into production permits.

We know that we already have enough oil, coal and gas in already producing fields to take us past 2 degrees C of global warming. It is only logical that we put an end to exploration for and expansion of fossil fuels we don't want or need.

In the legislation, that will be debated in October, the French government is taking climate action to another level. They are recognizing that climate leadership in the 21st century is about more than reducing emissions, pricing carbon and improving efficiency. It must also be about keeping fossil fuels that the climate cannot afford in the ground.

The legislation is not perfect, it does not include coal bed methane in its definition of unconventionals for example. The government should also take away existing licenses which have seen no investment.

But it does provide a new starting line for rich, northern countries that have the means to be first movers. And while France is not home to massive fossil fuel reserves, like other oil importers it faces political and economic pressures to reduce those imports by developing its own oil. So this move should not be underestimated in its precedent-setting nature.

With the Paris Climate Agreement as a defining moment for the world, the French government is wise to keep its name synonymous with policies that take us in the right direction.

This is the cutting edge of climate action, and with governments the world over being confronted with incredible people power, relentless climate impacts, and defining science, it shouldn't be long before more join the enlightened list of countries that understand where we must go.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular

INTERPOL Hails 'Spectacular' 92-Country Sting Against Wildlife Crime

International police organization INTERPOL celebrated on Wednesday the results of a massive global crackdown against wildlife crime in nearly 100 countries.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Heirloom tomatoes at the Walnut Creek Farmers' market in California. John Morgan / CC BY 2.0

How to Save Heirloom Tomato Seeds

By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz

Sometime during the spring, backyard food growers decide what kind of tomatoes to grow: heirlooms or hybrids. Hybrid varieties have had the benefit of genetic tinkering that allows for some cool traits. But these seeds must be purchased new each year from the companies that create them.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Pexels

Yoga Isn’t Timeless: It’s Changing to Meet Contemporary Needs

By Jeremy David Engels

On June 21, on International Yoga Day, people will take out their yoga mats and practice sun salutations or sit in meditation. Yoga may have originated in ancient India, but today is practiced all over the world.

Keep reading... Show less
Food

How to Recycle Plastic Food Containers? Here Are Some Tips

Recycling plastic is a no-brainer these days. Theoretically, it should be pretty easy. Use up the product, rinse out the container, toss it in the recycling bin. Voila! Off it goes to its inevitable reincarnation. Simple, right?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Business
Pixabay

Uber to Boost EV Network With Driver Incentives

Uber launched a new program to increase access to electric vehicles for drivers and riders, the company announced Tuesday.

The "EV Champions Initiative" offers financial incentives to some EV drivers; an in-app feature that alerts EV drivers of trips lasting 30 minutes or more to help combat fears of range anxiety—or the fear that the car's battery will die without timely access to a charging station; and from now on, Uber riders will receive a notification if they are matched with an EV driver.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights
David Ingram / Flickr

Energy Efficiency and Technology Squeeze the Carbon Bubble

The carbon bubble will burst with or without government action, according to a new study. That will hurt people who invest in fossil fuels.

As energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies improve and prices drop, global demand for fossil fuels will decline, "stranding" new fossil fuel ventures—likely before 2035, according to the study in Nature Climate Change, "Macroeconomic impact of stranded fossil fuel assets."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Oceans
Pixabay

Seattle's Ban on Plastic Straws, Utensils Begins July 1

Starting next month, Seattle eateries will no longer provide plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks to customers.

"As of July 1, 2018, food services businesses should not be providing plastic straws or utensils," Sego Jackson, the strategic advisor for Waste Prevention and Product Stewardship for Seattle Public Utilities told Q13 FOX. "What they should be providing are compostable straws or compostable utensils. But they also might be providing durables, reusables, or encouraging you to skip the straw altogether."

Keep reading... Show less
Food

A New Breed of Plant-Based Protein Aims to Compete on Meat-Centric Menus

The Beyond Burger debuted in restaurants and stores across Hong Kong in April 2017. It's a plant-based burger made of peas for protein, beetroot for a beefy red color, and coconut oil and potato starch. According to its makers, the ingredients together create a juiciness and chew like animal meat. The burger has gained significant media attention, along with other new entrants like the high-profile Impossible Burger, which is made from plant-based protein designed to bleed like meat.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

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