France to end sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040


France aims to end the sale of diesel and gasoline cars by 2040 as part of a five-year climate plan revealed Thursday by the country's new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Hulot also announced the end of coal-produced energy by 2022 and proclaimed 2050 to be the year France is to achieve "carbon neutrality", i.e. that it will boast a zero-sum carbon footprint.

"We aim to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars," Hulot told a news conference as he presented his plan under the hashtag "#1Planet1Plan".

He called the decision a "revolution" and acknowledged the new measures would be "tough", particularly for automakers but he said that France's automobile sector was well equipped and could "fulfill that promise".

In addition, subsidies will be provided for those who purchase less polluting vehicles.

The "climate plan" consists of six principal measures including developing renewable energies and eliminating housing with poor thermal isolation within 10 years.

Hulot said the plan allowed "France to take its share and the leadership" in fighting climate change.

Newly elected President Emmanuel Macron had declared the issue a "national priority" and slammed Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris accord last month.

Speaking Thursday at a joint news conference with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in Paris, Macron said the agreement "is a step in the right direction, but is not enough".

"We need to go further, continue to advance and show, in terms of concrete projects and financing, our capacity to go further," Macron said.

The Paris Agreement, spearheaded by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and signed by 195 countries in April 2016, aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing carbon emissions and limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

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