Who’s Getting it Right on Climate Change?

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France

Water vapour billows from smokestacks at the incineration plant of Ivry-sur-Seine in the outskirts of Paris on Thursday, December 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Water vapour billows from smokestacks at the incineration plant of Ivry-sur-Seine in the outskirts of Paris on Thursday, December 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

France’s ambitious environmental policy is aimed mainly at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, with the government committed to reducing such gasses by 75 percent by 2050. France has banned fracking, even though it has the greatest potential, along with Poland, for recoverable shale gas in Europe. After protests by environmental groups, France cancelled exploration licenses held by two oil companies in 2011.

Last month, France’s new energy and environment minister said in a press conference that she wanted to accelerate investment in renewable energies like wind, solar, biomass and marine energy, and to improve the country’s insulation of buildings, in part, through providing financing for better insulating low-income housing.

America is in the midst of a natural gas boom and fracking is an extremely popular method of extraction. But several towns across the US have banned it, and New York state has refused to allow it until at least April 2015. Efforts are also underway to ban fracking in California.

 

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