France has already jumpstarted plans for a greener future. The country’s Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Nicolas Hulot promises that by 2040, sales of diesel and gasoline fueled cars will be over. Instead of making use of fossil fuels that harm our environment, the minister opts for a transition to purely electric mobility. This is just a part of his proposed series of measures to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
To clean up the country, the minister came out with a 23-point plan that spans over six major themes. But we will already witness the implementation of some of these measures during Emmanuel Macron, France’s newly elected president’s term.
The good thing is that they have already started taking actions. Hulot developed a program wherein residents who trade in a pre-1997 diesel vehicle or pre-2001 gasoline car into an electric vehicle, or a less polluting one will be given monetary incentives. However, he has not yet specified how much the people will be receiving.
Hulot is not the only one taking this initiative seriously, as the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo has been getting stricter on polluters. For instance, they have been filtering vehicles that enter the city. They plan to keep all diesel-fueled models out of the city by 2025. Currently, the tiered ban of older vehicles doesn’t allow cars of specific ages to enter the city, but models over 30 years old get an exemption.
The thing is, if Paris bans 20-year-old cars to drive around the city, that takes as much as 10 percent of the registered vehicles. As of last year, vehicles have to be younger than 15 years to be able to drive around Paris.
Furthermore, last November, there was an article saying that France wanted to ban Volkswagen and Renault diesel models, as these cars produce excess amounts of nitrogen oxide in the air. This issue was first raised by a German environmental group in back in November 2015, after saying that the 1.6 liter diesel Espace minivan produced excess amounts of NOx.
This is not the first time we have heard news like this in Europe. Last year, a bill that suggested a ban on diesel and gasoline engine fuels to the European Union have been approved by one house in Germany. The Netherlands had also suggested a similar movement that had originally been set to begin in 2025.
This is a good indication that the European government is finally starting to clean up their act and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Now, when will the United States, Asia, and other countries begin with the movement?