Earlier today, journalist-turned-Minister of Environmental Transition Nicolas Hulot revealed the measures that France is taking towards making the country carbon neutral by 2050. At a press conference, Hulot announced that France would stop using fossil fuel to produce electricity by 2022 and that up to €4 billion ($4.5 billion) of investments will go towards boosting energy efficiency. These plans come as part of a five-year-plan set out by President Emmanuel Macron’s new regime to encourage clean energy and fulfil the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Hulot responded to concerns about France’s car industry by saying that projects have already started to not worry about the industry, in reference to Volvo’s decision on Wednesday that it would only manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles starting 2019.
Moreover, the French regime has plans to stop importing palm oil, unsustainably grown soya and other products that contribute to deforestation around the world and particularly in the Amazon Rainforest, South-East Asia and Congo. According to Hulot, deforestation represents 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Minister also told the press that they will involve the French people in Citizen Panels to debate practical ways to plan out how their country can meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement and reduce emissions. On its part, the French Parliament will vote on a bill during autumn to ban all new exploitation permits for petrol, natural gas and coal. By 2025, France has also vowed to reduce nuclear energy from 75% to 50% of the country’s energy mix.
“So far, the climate in southern France has been Mediterranean, while the middle and north of France have experienced a continental climate, but now this is changing,” says 45-year-old Marie Larose. “The middle of France is witnessing a Mediterranean climate while the south is becoming more tropical.” Backing Larose’s observations, the Commissariat général à l’égalité des territoires (CGET) conducted a study that proves that if France continues with its early strategy of dependence on non-renewable energy, the diagram above could become reality.