France aims for carmakers to ditch petrol and diesel by 2040

France aims for carmakers to ditch petrol and diesel by 2040

France is set to end all petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2040, its new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot announced.

"We want to demonstrate that fighting against climate change can lead to an improvement of French people's daily lives", he said.

Mr Hulot said that he realised the target would put France's vehicle manufacturers under pressure - but that the companies had projects which "can fulfil that promise".

Later this week, electric auto company Tesla says its latest vehicle, the Model 3, will begin to roll off the production line.

The news comes just one day after Swedish carmaker Volvo announced it would only sell hybrid or electric cars by 2019.

He said it would be "schizophrenic" to encourage industrials and manufacturers to reduce their emissions while accepting that millions of trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, are being chopped down. Among the key policy proposals is the plan to end the delivery of hydrocarbon licenses in France, with legislation to that effect due later this year.

The country also plans to stop producing power from coal-power stations by 2022.

"The 2025 date is the objective, I hope we will keep to it", said Hulot.

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said that although the French government had carried out the right analysis of the situation, the proposals were short of concrete measures to deal with the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

Mr Hulot also announced plans to end the importation of products such as palm oil and unsustainably grown soya, which contribute to deforestation around the world and particularly in the Amazon forest, South-East Asia and in Congo. The effective ban will be achieved through a mix of financial incentives for alternative fuel vehicles, and increased taxes on older, internal combustion cars.

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