(h/t David) France is to stop granting licenses for oil and gas exploration as part of a transition towards environmentally-friendly energy being driven by Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Nicolas Hulot, the “ecological transition” minister said a law would be passed in the autumn.
“There will be no new exploration licenses for hydrocarbons,” he told BFMTV.
The minister, previously famed in France for his environmental activism and nature documentaries, also outlined proposals to increase the taxation on diesel and to “make decisions faster” to curtail pollution.
Mr. Macron said he was opposed to exploration for gas and favored a ban on fracking during his election campaign, particularly in the overseas territory of French Guiana.
But Mr. Hulot was among those warning that any ban would trigger lawsuits from energy companies and saying change must be imposed gradually.
Around 75 percent of France’s electricity is currently provided by nuclear power stations, with the industry employing around 200,000 people and led by state-owned EDF.
A law was passed last year to reduce the nuclear proportion to 50 percent by 2025, sparking controversy over potential job losses and the closure of up to 20 reactors.
Mr. Macron reinstated his commitment to the law last month but has evaded concrete targets for the ultimate aim of making France run completely on renewable energy.
The President is also planning a huge renovation program for French homes to reduce energy consumption, cut carbon dioxide emissions, reduce energy poverty and create jobs.
He and Mr. Hulot discussed renewable energy schemes and global warming with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former Governor of California, as part of his trip to France on Friday.
Mr. Schwarzenegger said he was honored to speak to Mr. Macron and ministers about “how we can work together for a clean energy future” and was seen posing with a T-shirt reading “Make Our Planet Great Again” with Mr. Hulot.
Read more at Independent