In an announcement at the COP22 UN climate change conference this week, French president Francois Hollande stated that all of the country’s coal-fired power plants will be shuttered by 2023. The move is part of an effort to achieve carbon neutrality in France by 2050. This shouldn’t be too hard to achieve, considering that the country already derives 75 percent of its power from nuclear energy. (Whether or not that’s an improvement is, of course, a hot topic of debate within the environmental community.)
The new goal puts France ahead of the UK, which has promised to stop using fossil fuels to generate power by 2025. By comparison, Germany is dragging its feet with its national goal to cut greenhouse gassed by 95% by 2050.
It turns out France isn’t looking too favorably on the President-elect Donald Trump, either. In response to reports that Trump will seek to withdraw from last year’s Paris agreement, Mr. Hollande emphasized that signing onto the treaty was “irreversible.” Ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy went even further, suggesting that France should apply a “carbon import tax” on all US goods should Trump renege on the treaty.
This isn’t the first time France has set ambitious environmental goals. The country recently banned plastic bags nationwide, announced an upcoming ban on plastic utensils, cups, and dishes by 2020, and began construction on a 28-mile bicycle superhighway to help commuters pedal easily across Paris.
Via The Independent