France Plans to Ban All Gas, Diesel Cars by 2040

by Susie Olson July 7, 2017, 0:41
France Plans to Ban All Gas, Diesel Cars by 2040

"France has chose to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the U.S. decision", Mr Hulot said, adding that the government would have to make investments to meet that target.

Mr Hulot said he recognised the target would put pressure on France's auto manufacturers, but he said they now had projects which "can fulfil that promise".

The announcement comes a day after Volvo said it would only make fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019 onwards, a decision hailed as the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine's dominance of motor transport after more than a century. In 2022, France will also end coal generated electricity production and will cut the share of nuclear power generation in the French electricity make up to 50 percent by 2025.

The move, announced by the country's ecology minister Nicolas Hulot, is part of a plan to meet emissions targets set forth in the Paris climate accord. How the ban will be implemented, and whether it includes a ban on hybrid cars is still to be announced. And now, under the leadership of the newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, the whole country is catching up to its largest city.

Hulot called the Trump administration's stance on the issue a "brutal attitude" but indicated there were still American partners, like non-governmental organizations, France could work with on climate issues.

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Presenting the country's Climate Plan in Paris on Thursday, Hulot said France will offer tax incentives to replace diesel autos that are more than 20 years old and gasoline vehicles made before 2001.

As CityLab notes, while France isn't the first country to move towards banning gas- and diesel-powered vehicle sales, it's easily the most significant. But it's a sign of France's desire to be a leader in sustainable energy after the departure of the USA from the Paris climate accord. Proposals would also be made to end the sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles.

With its recent announcement, France joins a burgeoning global effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuel-powered cars. India has said it wants all cars sold there to be electric by 2030.

Now in France, only 1.2 percent of new vehicles are electric.

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