December 19, 2017 / 8:09 PM / 2 years ago

France passes bill to end oil and gas production by 2040

PARIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) - France’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday requiring all oil and gas exploration and production on French territories to end by 2040, the first time any country has taken such a step.

The bill, presented to cabinet in September, bans the renewal of any existing concessions beyond that date. New exploration permits will no longer be granted from now.

The decision is largely symbolic because France produces only about six million barrels of hydrocarbons a year, about one percent of its consumption. It will continue to import and refine oil.

President Emmanuel Macron, elected in May, has sought a leading role for France in the fight against climate change and stressed at a summit last week that not enough was being done.

Macron’s bid to breathe new life into a landmark accord on climate change reached by nearly 200 nations in Paris two years ago came after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was pulling out of the deal.

Lawmakers from Macron’s Republic on the Move party and several other centrist and left-leaning forces voted in favour of the new law in parliament on Tuesday, while the hard-left group France Unbowed abstained.

Most representatives from the conservative Republicans voted against the bill.

France also plans to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040. (Reporting by Emile Picy; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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