Can France ditch the combustion engine?

In a bid to honour the Paris Climate Agreement, France's new Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot wants to ban sales of cars that consume petrol or diesel fuel by 2040. The country's media discuss how this target can be reached.

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Le Figaro (FR) /

Competition should settle the issue

Le Figaro cannot tolerate the idea of strict guidelines for the car industry:

“It would be a huge mistake to try to reach this objective in the usual way, by imposing constraints or orders from above. These would only weaken the car sector, which employs 440,000 workers and represents 16 percent of French industry. At the same time it would raise car prices to the point of making them inaccessible to one part of the French population. Let's avoid yet another classic punitive policy based on taxes, penalties and licences. ... In the automotive sector environmental performance is an integral part of competition. Electric cars in 2040: why not? But until then let's put our trust in competition and leave car drivers out of this.”

La Croix (FR) /

2040 just around the corner

The daily La Croix agrees enthusiastically with Environment Minister Hulot about the importance of banning petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and calls for a radical rethinking in society as a whole:

“According to the minister this is a 'veritable revolution'. Not just for the automotive sector - one of the great symbols of the carbon economy - but for all of society, which will have to learn to imagine a new future without fossil fuels. And fast, because 2040 is just around the corner.”