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French senate approves carbon neutrality law by 2050

Youth activists in France join global protests led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg calling for climate action to halt global warming, 15 March 2019.
Youth activists in France join global protests led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg calling for climate action to halt global warming, 15 March 2019. AFP PHOTO/Alain JOCARD

French senators have approved a bill setting France on a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and go carbon-neutral by 2050. The bill is part of the government's climate and energy package and was adopted at first reading after several modifications.

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The bill, which is in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement, was approved without a vote.

The proposal outlines that France will cut its consumption of fossil fuels by 40 percent by 2030 and will shut down its remaining coal plants in 2022.

It also delays cutbacks to nuclear power by a decade.

New energy minister Elisabeth Borne, who is seeking to burnish her green credentials, said Thursday that despite "differences, there are also points we agree on, which allow us to have an interesting discussion."

Senators clashed notably on measures to make homes more energy efficient, however were able to agree on boosting hydroelectric power.

The text, which has undergone numerous changes, has already been adopted by the French parliament and is scheduled to be voted into law after summer.

The 2015 Paris deal saw nations commit to limit global temperature rises to "well below" two degrees Celsius and to a 1.5°C cap if possible.

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