France is set to ban the sale of any car that runs on petrol or diesel by 2040, which brings more uncertainty to the future of oil and oil prices.
Nicolas Hulot, France ecology minister, announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal.
According to BBC, Hulot said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Hybrid cars make up about 3.5% of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2%.
The drop in demand for diesel and petrol driven cars will go a long way in reducing the demand for oil, and in turn drive a decline in global crude oil prices.
Hulot, a veteran environmental campaigner, was appointed by new French President Emmanuel Macron, who in his capacity as president openly criticised US environmental policy, urging Donald Trump to “make our planet great again”.
“The fight against climate change cannot depend on the result of elections in one country of another. When a country signs an international agreement it has to fulfil its commitments,” Macron said.
“There will be new administrations. I’m pretty sure President Trump hasn’t read the articles of this treaty. There is nothing to renegotiate here”
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement in June was explicitly named as a factor in France’s new vehicle plan.
“France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision,” Hulot said, adding that the government would have to make investments to meet that target.
Earlier this week, car manufacturer Volvo said all of its cars would be at least partly electric from 2019, an announcement referenced by Hulot.
He said he believes French car manufacturers – including brands such as Peugeot-Citreon and Renault – would meet the challenge, although he acknowledged it would be difficult.
Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030.
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