The French government has set out an ambitious goal for no more petrol or diesel cars to be sold in the country by 2040. The target was announced by environment minister Nicolas Hulot as part of far-reaching efforts to wean the world's sixth biggest economy off fossil fuels. At a news conference unveiling a five-year government plan to encourage clean energy and meet France's commitments under the Paris climate accord, Hulot said French car manufacturers have projects that "can fulfil that promise". His appeal came a day after Sweden's Volvo became the first major carmaker to pledge to stop making cars powered solely by the internal combustion engine. France is unusually dependent on diesel fuel, blamed for pollution that often chokes the French capital.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is developing a time frame for ending the construction and sale of fuel cars as it makes the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), according to state media citing a Cabinet official. Deputy industry minister Xin Guobin said at an auto industry forum on Saturday that his ministry has begun "research on formulating a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional energy vehicles", according to Xinhua News Agency, such as gasoline and diesel cars. No specific target dates were given in the reports, however. China is the biggest auto market in the world by number of vehicles sold, meaning such a policy change could have a sizeable effect on the global industry. The country joins France and Britain in their plans to oust fuel cars, both of which announced goals in July to completely stop sales of gasoline and diesel automobiles by 2040 to reduce pollution and carbon emissions.
France's ecology minister has laid out an ambitious plan that would see the nation effectively ban the sale of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles by 2040. Nicolas Hulot, as quoted by the Financial Times, claims that France is announcing the "end of the sale of gasoline and diesel cars" by the deadline. As Le Figaro adds, it's not clear how the country will enforce the transition, but Hulot says that the "conditions are there." France doesn't have a bottomless sovereign wealth fund like Norway, for example, that it can use to finance a transition to cleaner energy. But, what France does have in its favor is a sizable stake in both PSA, the owner of Peugeot and Citroen, and Renault.
France's environment minister Nicolas Hulot just announced an ambitious goal aimed at curbing climate change: Stopping the sale of all gasoline-or-diesel-powered cars by 2040. On Thursday, Hulot -- a former nature documentary narrator in the vein of David Attenborough -- announced the government's plan, which still must go through several steps before it is enacted. "We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040," Hulot said during the speech, according to France24. The minister also announced plans to increase the government's investment in green and sustainable technologies in the coming years, France24 added. Other countries like Germany are also hoping to scale down the use of gasoline-powered vehicles.
The new French government has sought to further burnish its green credentials with the announcement it is to stop granting licences for new oil and gas exploration. In his first major intervention since Emmanuel Macron's election victory, the ecological transition minister, Nicolas Hulot, told the broadcaster BFMTV there would be "no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons". Hulot said the government would extend Macron's promised moratorium on fracking projects to cover all oil and gas exploration. He also hinted that the government would increase taxes on diesel and look to streamline decision-making on environmental issues so they could be made "faster". Hulot faces a daunting in-tray to deliver on Macron's wide-ranging environmental manifesto, which promised a sharp increase in renewables' investment, a huge renovation programme to improve the efficiency of French homes, and an acceleration of the deployment of zero-emission vehicles.