Quantcast

France Approves World's First Ban on Fracking and Oil Production

Fracking
Yann Caradec / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The French parliament passed a law on Tuesday that bans exploration and production of all oil and natural gas by 2040 within mainland France and all overseas territories.

Under the new law, France will not grant new permits or renew existing licenses that allow fracking or the extraction of fossil fuels.


French President Emmanuel Macron, who has cast environmental protection as a key presidential policy, celebrated the vote.

"Very proud that France has become the first country in the world today to ban any new oil exploration licences with immediate effect and all oil extraction by 2040. #KeepItInTheGround #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain," he tweeted.

Some, however, consider the gesture largely symbolic as the country is 99 percent dependent on hydrocarbon imports and extracts very little of its own oil and gas. According to Quartz, France produces about 16,000 barrels a day—much less in comparison to Saudi Arabia's output of 10.4 million barrels or Russia's 10.5 million barrels.

Still, the move from the world's fifth largest economy sends a signal to other nations. Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho said she hoped the ban would be "contagious."

France has made ambitious pledges under the Paris climate agreement, including a 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030, and a 75 percent emissions reduction by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. To achieve these targets, the country plans to increase the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 32 percent by 2030 and reduce energy consumption by 50 percent by 2050.

France also plans to ban the sale of diesel and petrol engine cars by 2040.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Jair Bolsonaro pictured at a presidential debate in Brasilia, Brazil June 6, 2018. REUTERS / Adriano Machado / CC BY-NC 2.0

Despite confirmation this week that the deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to take the problem seriously.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A healthy diet may reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study. PamelaJoeMcFarlane / E+ / Getty Images

Weight loss aside, there is no shortage of benefits to eating healthier: a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced gut inflammation and preventing memory loss later in life, to name a few. A healthy diet may also reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Read More Show Less
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk discusses vehicle dimensions in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on Nov. 21. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Tesla just unveiled its first electric truck.

CEO Elon Musk showed off the new design at a launch event at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California Thursday.

Read More Show Less
This study found evidence of illegal hammerhead fins in 46 out of 46 sampling events in Hong Kong. NOAA / Teachers at Sea Program

By Jason Bittel

Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.

Read More Show Less