We love France. First it passed legislation banning stores from purposefully wasting food, then Arash Derambarsh, the instigator behind that movement announced his ambitions to take similar efforts global. And all that was after France decreed all new roofs in the country to host either solar panels or oxygen-producing plants.
But if that’s not enough to make you fall in love with the eco-conscious country, it recently implemented a new initiative to financially compensate car owners who trade in a diesel vehicle, aged 13 years or more, for a fully electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid.
That’s right, citizens of France can now receive a “conversion premium” for reducing their carbon emissions.
The campaign comes from France’s former presidential candidate, Ségolène Royal, who is now the head of Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy. The intention is to target older cars which are heavily responsible for a disproportionate percentage of greenhouse gas emissions.
As Treehugger reports, the monetary incentive to switch is available to any individual in the nation who trades in an old clunker for a vehicle that runs on clean energy. Depending upon what type of vehicle is purchased, the dollar amount ranges up to €10,000 ($11,321.47 at today’s exchange rate) if a fully electric vehicle is selected, or up to €6,500 ($7,358.37) for a plug-in hybrid.
And if the old diesel is replaced with a vehicle that meets Euro 6 specifications and emits less than 110 gC02/km, there’s an additional €500 ($565.64) payoff for non-taxable households.
The ambition to remove diesel vehicles from the streets makes sense, as older diesel cars are among the worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions. In addition, most of their materials can be recycled, but its the fossil fuel they burn and pollute – causing devastation to the health of the planet and its inhabitants – that cannot be recycled. If this campaign is successful, perhaps the department will expand it in the future to include certain younger vehicles as well.
What is clear is that France is setting a remarkable example for other nations to follow; hopefully in the near future it will no longer be an anomaly for a country’s key leaders to rule in favor of the environment and the citizens it cares for.
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