France To Ban Fossil Fuel Production Starting in 2040

Fossil Fuel Production

The French government of Emmanuel Marcon took yet another step in its battle to combat climate change.

Coming on the heels of a recent law that will ban the sale of vehicles in France that use gasoline or diesel fuel beginning in 2040, the government announced that it will ban all oil and gas production in the country and in any of its territories starting in 2040 as well. The law also outlaws new drilling permits immediately, and it will cause any existing ones to expire by 2040.

The law itself is largely symbolic, as the country right now imports almost all of its fossil fuels. It produces a little more than 800,000 tons of oil per year, mostly from French Guiana, which is a colony it possesses in South America. This roughly represents the amount of oil Suadi Arabia produces in a couple of hours, but the government hopes that the new law — which is the first of its kind anywhere in the world — will lead to other countries passing similar legislation.

President Macron announced that the law was enacted on Twitter, and he said in English that he was very proud of his country for taking this step. He ended the tweet with the hashtag #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain, which is a play on American President Donald Trump's famous slogan: "Make America Great Again." The French president had previously indicated that the country would make up any shortfall created after President Trump withdrew the United States from the United Nations climate control program. He has also said that he wants France to become a world leader in the fight against climate change.

Nicholas Hulot, who is the country's environmental minister, echoed the president's excitement by saying that "current generations can take care of future generations."

French citizens should expect similar laws in the near future, as the ban on exploration and production of fossil fuels is just a small part of the government's plan to combat climate change and make good on the commitments it made within the framework of the Paris Climate Agreement.

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