In support of renewables, France to stop licenses for oil exploration

France has said it will stop granting licenses for oil and gas exploration soon as part of its transition towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Driven by the government of new president, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, reports from the Independent of U.K quoted France’s ecological transition minister, Nicolas Hulot, to have said to BFMTV that a law on this would be passed in the autumn.

“There will be no new exploration license for hydrocarbons,” said Hulot who is previously famed in France for his environmental activism and nature documentaries.

He also outlined proposals to increase taxation on diesel and to “make decisions faster” to end environmental pollution from fossil fuel.

Macron had said during his election campaign that he was opposed to exploration for gas and favoured a ban on fracking, particularly in the overseas territory of French Guiana.

Currently, around 75 per cent of France’s electricity is generated from nuclear power stations, with the industry employing around 200,000 people and led by state-owned EDF.

A law was passed last year to reduce the nuclear proportion to 50 per cent by 2025, and this sparked controversy over potential job losses and the closure of up to 20 reactors.

Macron however reinstated his commitment to the law last month but has evaded concrete targets for the ultimate aim of making France run completely on renewable energy.

He is also reported to be planning a huge renovation programme for French homes to reduce energy consumption; cut carbon dioxide emissions; reduce energy poverty; and create jobs.

Macron and Hulot have equally discussed renewable energy schemes and global warming, with France among the countries that have heavily criticized the decision of President Donald Trump to take the United States away from the Paris agreement.