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

California Condor at soaring at the Grand Canyon. Pavliha / iStock / Getty Images

North America's largest bird passed an important milestone this spring when the 1,000th California condor chick hatched since recovery efforts began, NPR reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less
The Roloway monkey has been pushed closer to extinction. Sonja Wolters / WAPCA / IUCN

The statistics around threatened species are looking grim. A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 9,000 new additions to its Red List of threatened species, pushing the total number of species on the list to more than 105,000 for the first time, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.

Read More Show Less
Night long exposure photograph of wildifires in Santa Clarita, California. FrozenShutter / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristy Dahl

Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Green is the new black at Zara.

The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Whether you enjoy running recreationally, competitively, or as part of your overall wellness goals, it's a great way to improve your heart health.

Read More Show Less
Text from the plaque that will mark the site where Ok glacier once was. Rice University

By Andrea Germanos

A climate change victim in Iceland is set to be memorialized with a monument that underscores the urgent crisis.

Read More Show Less