France for a green revolution

Published: Friday 30 November 2007

Wrapping up an environmental policy conference in the last week of October, president of France Nicolas Sarkozy announced a 'green revolution' for the country. Endorsing a raft of proposals chalked out during the meeting, Sarkozy said that the measures would put the country "in the vanguard of the war against global warming".

The three-month-long conference was to seek ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and help change attitudes on the environment. Sarkozy said that he would suspend the planting of genetically modified (gm) crops until a proper evaluation is done. A complete ban on gm crops goes against eu laws. Sarkozy, however, recommended the ban citing the precautionary principle. He also asked the agriculture minister to look at halving the use of farm pesticides, possibly in 10 years.

Sarkozy urged the European Commission to consider taxing products from countries that do not respect the Kyoto protocol. To curb ghg emissions, he pledged to tax trucks crossing France and to encourage greener vehicles. Assuring investments for energy-efficient buildings, Sarkozy pledged to ban incandescent light bulbs and single-pane windows by 2010. The proposals will now be put to vote before the country's parliament early next year.

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