France's President Promises Green Revolution

France's President Promises Green Revolution

France's president called for a green revolution this week with tax measures and investment goals that will make the nation a staunch supporter of climate change policies.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said his country will invest heavily in energy efficiencies for buildings and vehicles. He also promised to implement sustainable farming regulations that would phase out genetically modified crops designed to battle pests. Farm pesticides could be phased out altogether in 10 years.

"France isn't late but France wants now to be in the lead," he said during a speech at an environmental conference, Reuters reported.

The president stopped short of imposing a carbon tax but instead suggested implementing fiscal tools to punish polluting vehicles and greenhouse gases. Trucks, however, that carry freight could be taxed, he said.

"There's undoubtedly ambition there, there's a cultural change at state level" Yannick Jodiot, program director at Greenpeace France. told Reuters. "But unfortunately there's still too much ambiguity there for us not to keep being extremely vigilant."

Sarkozy said he wanted to maintain the country's nuclear capacity but planned to dedicate more resources to renewable energy production, such as wind and solar.