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a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, pledging that his country will be on the forefront in the global fight against climate change.
“I want to make France a model in the fight against climate change,” Macron said, noting that this would be one of five pillars of economic reform.
“On climate change, we’re losing the battle,” Macron told the Davos forum, adding that the world needed concrete action and results by 2020.
France’s energy mix is dominated by nuclear power, while coal barely accounts for a slim 1 percent or less, but the pledge to shut down coal-fired power plants is a sign that Macron wants France to lead the world in the fight against climate change.
The French President’s timeline is more aggressive than that of his predecessor—former president Francois Hollande had said in 2016 that all coal-fired plants in France would close by 2023. Macron is now also vowing to shut down coal power generation a year earlier than the timeline he had given during his election campaign last year—by 2022.
At the end of last year, France also passed legislation not to extend drilling permits for oil and gas after 2040, in a largely symbolic move because it is 99-percent dependent on imports of oil and gas.
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The UK and Italy—also large European economies—have also set timelines to phase out coal generation.
Following the end of a consultation period, the UK government confirmed in October that it would proceed with action to regulate the closure of unabated coal power generation units in Great Britain by 2025.
Italy’s government unveiled in November a new national energy strategy aiming to phase out coal in electricity generation by 2025, and significantly boost the share of renewables in total energy and electricity consumption.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.