Paris – Francois Hollande, France’s President, last Friday (Sept. 14, 2012), announced that under his watch, environmental issues will be placed at the top of the national, and even international, political agenda. His announcement was issued during La Conférence Environnementale, an annual environmental conference held in Paris.
His most ambitious statement issued is his recommendation to cut CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040 at the European Union level. Current EU targets are 20% reduction of 1990 levels by 2020.
Hollande stated that he would like to see more global dialogue on environmental issues, citing the lack of a renewed agreement on climate goals reached internationally so far makes this an urgent and important matter. The Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year so climate talks are expected to once again take priority at the upcoming November Doha COP 18 conference. According to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, CO2 emissions rose by 3.2% last year to 31.6 billion tons, spurred by increases from China.
More initiatives he announced/ launched:
- New tenders for solar and offshore wind power by end of 2012.
- Closing of Fessenheim’s Nuclear Power Plant by end of 2016.
- Rejected applications for shale gas exploration.
- Cut France’s nuclear power from 75% to 50% by 2025.