France to end sales of gasoline, diesel vehicles by 2040

France to end sales of gasoline, diesel vehicles by 2040
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France is preparing to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 as a way of reaching its emissions targets under the Paris climate agreement.

Nicolas Hulot, the Ecology Minister under new French President Emmanuel Macron, announced the “tough” goal on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reports.

"We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040," said Hulot, who called the plan a "veritable revolution.”

Macron has emerged as one of the Paris agreement’s biggest supporters in the wake of President Trump’s June decision to pull the United States out of the deal.

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Hulot announced last month that France would stop granting new licenses for oil and gas exploration both within France and in its overseas territories.

Macron also said he would welcome American climate scientists to come to his country to continue their research.

France’s goal of gasoline- and diesel-free cars comes one day after Volvo announced it would stop manufacturing vehicles with conventional engines by 2018, producing instead only all-electric and hybrid vehicles.

France is the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles sold in Europe, AFP reports, though hybrid and electric cars account for only 3.6 percent of new cars registered in Western Europe in 2016.

In the United States, Bloomberg New Energy Finance projected on Thursday that sales of electric vehicles would overtake those of cars with traditional internal combustion engines within 20 years.