26 June 2017

France to ban all new oil and gas exploration licenses

France plans to terminate the granting oil and gas exploration licenses at home and in overseas territories, as the country aims to increase the share of renewables in the nation’s energy mix.  

Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced the draft proposal on Friday 23 June.

He told BFMTV: “There will be no new exploration licenses for hydrocarbons, we will pass the law this autumn.”

The move is expected to stop the exploration of shale oil and shale gas in mainland France and its overseas territories.

The Minister also outlined proposals to increase the taxation on diesel and to “make decisions faster” to curtail pollution.

During his election campaign, President Macron stated his opposition to exploration for gas, also stating his support for a ban on fracking.

At present, around 75 per cent of the nation’s electricity is generated by nuclear power stations.

Under a new law passed last year, this percentage will be reduced to 50 per cent by 2025.

President Macron is also planning the introduction of a new renovation programme for French households that will reduce energy consumption, cut CO2 emissions as well as reducing energy poverty and creating jobs.

Earlier this month, France vowed to go beyond its initial international commitments under the Paris Agreement, and announced plans to launch a new initiative to attract climate change expertise from across the globe.

The news follows the announcement that the European Commission has approved the development of three French schemes that will support the addition of more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity.

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