France unveils ambitious bill to boost green energy
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France’s government has unveiled a much-touted bill to reduce the country's dependency on nuclear energy and fossil fuels over the next four decades.
The legislation, currently championed by Environment Minister Ségolène Royal (photo), aims to cut France’s energy consumption in half by 2050 in comparison with 2012.
The ambitious bill, presented on Tuesday after months of intense debate, also seeks to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the country by 30 percent in the next 15 years.
Royal called the proposed law “a great challenge for the country” that in the long run would save consumers money and make companies more competitive, but will initially demand billions of euros of new investments.
Among the bill’s 80 articles are plans to develop technology for renewable energy and boost clean transportation.
'Energy transition' underway
In what will likely be a difficult sell, the bill also looks to reduce France’s huge dependency on nuclear energy. Hollande campaigned in 2012 on the promise of reducing electricity generated from nuclear reactors from 75 percent to 50 percent.
Among the many measures, the so-called “energy transition” law hopes to force builders to make buildings and houses more energy efficient during renovations and encourage the use of electric cars.
While the “transition” is expected to cost the state between 15 and 30 billion euros a year, the Environment Ministry highlighted the possibility of created tens of thousands of jobs in the clean energy sector.
The bill must now be approved by several government commissions before a vote at the National Assembly that would not take place before the autumn of 2014.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
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