France’s parliament has passed into law a ban on producing oil and gas by 2040, a largely symbolic gesture as the country is 99% dependent on hydrocarbon imports.
In Tuesday’s vote by show of hands, only the rightwing Republicans party opposed, while leftwing lawmakers abstained.
No new permits will be granted to extract fossil fuels and no existing licences will be renewed beyond 2040, when all production in mainland France and its overseas territories will stop.
Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho said she hoped the ban would be “contagious”, inspiring bigger producers to follow suit.
France extracts the equivalent of about 815,000 tonnes of oil per year – an amount produced in a few hours by Saudi Arabia.
But centrist president Emmanuel Macron has said he wants France to take the lead as a major world economy switching away from fossil fuels – and the nuclear industry – into renewable sources.
If as and when renewables are cheaper then no one will drill for oil or gas. If they’re not going to be cheaper by 2040 then what the fuck are you doing banning drilling?