Citing a desire to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has announced the country will stop producing all vehicles that run on gas or diesel. This has been a week of good news for the alternative fuel industry, as Volvo also announced all of its vehicles will run partially or entirely on electric power sources beginning in 2019.
This are going to be some major obstacles that France is going to have to overcome, as currently only 3.5% of the French vehicle market is electric. Despite this fact, President Macron is optimistic that France can meet the challenge.
The ban on petrol and diesel vehicles is part of Macron’s larger plan to make France carbon neutral by 2050, an incredibly ambitious goal that’s currently not being emulated anywhere else in the world. Other countries like Germany and the U.K. have talked about a desire to become carbon neutral, but they’ve taken few steps to actually draft a concrete plan like Mr. Macron.
While Macron’s government is focused on the long term, it also hopes to take more immediate step to curb France’s pollution problem.
France and other countries attempting to aggressively combat global warming hope that their efforts will create a global race to the top in which other countries follow suit and restructure their own energy industry. This is one area in which the United States will not lead the way, as President Trump recently pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, making it one of three countries to not be signed on. One is Nicaragua, who said the agreement didn’t go far enough. The other is Syria.