France to ban cars using dirty diesel and polluting petrol

France's new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has announced a series of measures today aiming to make France a carbon neutral country by 2050.

Earlier this week, vehicle manufacturer Volvo said all of its cars would be at least partly electric from 2019, an announcement referenced by Mr Hulot. Volvo also said yesterday that it plans to sell 1 million electrified vehicles by 2025, and will look to produced five new electrified models by 2019. The government will also end oil and gas exploration in French territory, eliminate coal-fired power plants by 2022 and encourage home owners to produce their own energy. Within days of being elected, Macron crossed swords on social media with US President Donald Trump, after Trump announced America's withdrawal from the Paris agreement on curbing emissions.

Hulot said ending the use of fossil fuels was also central in the French objective to cut carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050. He launched an initiative to try to encourage us climate scientists to move to France to continue their work.

The move by France in taking on a leadership role in climate change commitments is nothing short of revolutionary and is something that all the world's countries should be emulating.

France is by no means the only country aiming to ban combustion-powered cars in some form.

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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. While France will ban the sale of these vehicles in 2040, pushing a reliance on electric cars, it's unknown what will happen to existing fossil fuel cars.

Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands.

In 2016, hybrid and electric cars accounted for 3.6 percent of new cars registered in Western Europe.

Very recently, President Trump made the first steps to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, a controversial decision that has distanced America from climate leaders.

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