France takes another step forward in pursuing its goal on attaining carbon neutrality by 2050. The country is about to pass a law this autumn that stops granting licences for oil and gas exploration.
“There will be no new exploration licences for hydrocarbons,” Nicolas Hulot, France's Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition told BFMTV. The minister also outlined proposals that increase taxation of diesel and hasten decision-making to reduce pollution.
During his election campaign, the current president Emmanuel Macron already explained how he opposes gas exploration and leans towards the ban on fracking, particularly in the French Guiana region. However, any ban on non-renewable energy would incite lawsuits from energy companies and, hence, such changes should be gradual, he says.
Nonetheless, France gets 75 percent of its energy from nuclear power plants now, employing around 200,000 people. And while a law passed on 2016 to reduce nuclear energy output by 2025 might've led to lost jobs due to the closure of 20 reactors, the President is still optimistic, planning further renovation program for French homes to reduce energy use, curb carbon emissions, and create jobs.
The actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger also specifically discussed global warning and renewable energy solutions with the President and Hulot, as part of his trip to France. Schwarzenegger was able to chat with them "about how we can work together for a clean energy future” and was even seen with Hulot holding a shirt that says “Make Our Planet Great Again” on Twitter.
US's withdrawal from the Paris accords spurred a lot of criticisms and France, obviously, has been among those (if not on the front line) that are against this. They even posted an annotated White House video about how the pulling out was a "bad deal" for the US.
Perhaps if only everybody would understand how critical working together now on creating a healthier planet is important, we could save not only ourselves but the life of future generations as well. And the increasing efforts of France on making this a reality most probably speaks as to what kind of country it is.