French representatives have just announced plans to ban the use of petrol and diesel fueled cars by 2040.
The decision was released just one day after Swedish automotive company Volvo announced that they would only be producing electric and hybrid vehicles starting in 2019.
In order to encourage the conversion to clean energy vehicles, poorer French citizens will be given premiums that will allow them to trade their petrol-powered car for a cleaner alternative.
France is one of several countries that have already announced plans to ban the use of petrol and diesel cars in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Norway, whose automotive market is already occupied by 36% electric vehicles, plans on exclusively selling clean vehicles by 2025.
India has also announced efforts to eliminate petrol and diesel cars by 2030. In order to ensure the automotive electricity is coming from a clean grid, the nation’s government is investing in the construction of 10 new alternative energy plants to replace their heavy dependence on coal.
The initiative is just one of the green energy solutions employed by Nicolas Hulot – France’s new ecology minister – to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. Another of the proposals set by Hulot was ending the use of coal-generated electricity by 2022. These actions are all part of the country’s ambitious plan to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Environmental benefits aside, the ban on fossil fuels will also save tons of hazardous chemicals from clogging the atmospheres of French cities.
According to Sherry Boschert, author of Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America, using hybrids and electric cars that draw power from a main grid drastically reduce the amount of nitrous oxide released into the air by 32% to 99%. Nitrogen oxides have been shown to have extremely dangerous effects on people’s respiratory health, as well as the environment. Electric vehicles that draw power from a coal-fueled main grid also still manage to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere by anywhere from 17% to 77%, depending on the area.
In addition to Hulot’s plans for clean energy vehicles, the French administration also plans on banning the importation of palm oil and unsustainably grown soya. Both are large contributors of deforestation in the Amazon and Congo, which amounts to roughly 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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