France’s parliament approved a law on Tuesday banning all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040, as reported The Guardian. The bill, which also affects French overseas territories, is part of President Emmanuel Macron’s drive to make France a leader in the fight against climate change.
The bill means no new permits to extract fossil fuels will be granted and no existing license will be renewed beyond 2040, when all production in France and its overseas territories will stop.
France is the first nation in the world to introduce such a ban. The move is largely symbolic however as the county imports 99 percent of its domestic fossil fuel demand. France produces around 16,000 oil barrels per day, primarily from its overseas territory of French Guiana. By comparison, Saudi Arabia produces more than 10 million barrels per day.
After the vote, Macron said on Twitter that he was: “Very proud that France has become the first country in the world today to ban any new oil exploration licenses with immediate effect and all oil extraction by 2040.”
Very proud that France has become the first country in the world today to ban any new oil exploration licences with immediate effect and all oil extraction by 2040. #KeepItInTheGround #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain
France’s Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said (The Independent) that the vote showed “current generations can take care of future generations,” while Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho said (The Guardian) she hoped the ban would be “contagious.”
Macron is leading a drive to make France a world leader for green energy and in the fight against fossil fuels and climate change. In July this year, France banned the sale of petrol and diesel cars, also by 2040.
Macron posted his tweet along with the hashtag MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain, a parody of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan. In June 2016, Trump announced (CBS News) that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2015 international accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.