France launches new climate plan; Euro 7 lead; targeting ending the sale of vehicles emitting GHGs by 2040
Nicolas Hulot, France’s new minister responsible for environment and energy, presented the country’s new climate plan at a press conference at the Ministry. Prepared at the request of the President and the Prime Minister, the climate action plan is divided into six main themes: render the Paris Agreement irreversible; improve the daily life of the French; end the use of fossil energy and engage in carbon neutrality; make France the Nº 1 green economy; encourage the potential of ecosystems and agriculture; and intensify international mobilization on climate diplomacy.
Among the many actions outlined in the plan is the targeting of ending the sale of cars emitting greenhouse gases (“gaz à effet de serre”) by 2040. (The plan at this current level of detail does not specify whether or not that is tailpipe emissions or full lifecycle emissions, factoring in upstream for electric vehicles.) France also intends to initiate an ambitious (“ambitieuse”) Euro 7 standard at the European level.
Shorter term actions on the mobility front will include:
Converging taxation rates for gasoline and diesel during the next five years.
Exploring a replacement bonus for vehicles that are not eligible for the Crit’air sticker (pre-1997 gasoline and pre-2001 diesel). This measure will be part of a bonus-malus system to reduce the emissions of the French car fleet and to promote the acquisition of EVs.
Supporting the development of alternative fuels (electricity, biogas, hydrogen).
Supporting the development of charging infrastructure.
Favoring the acquisition of heavy-duty trucks running on natural gas.
The government will also work on laws dealing with road pricing, access to mobility, alternative modes of transportation and city traffic.
Also outlined in the plan is an initiative to halt the production of fossil hydrocarbons in France. The government will introduce a bill in the fall prohibiting new exporation permits—including for shale gas and unconventional hydrocarbons—and not renewing existing operating concessions.