Chirac Spells Out France's 21st Century Energy Plan

French president recognizes 'after oil era' and global warming as factors in call for greater use of biofuels and new generation nuclear power plant.

Published: 09-Jan-2006

ch president Jacques Chirac Thursday outlined France's energy strategy for the next thirty years, and committed the country to build a new model nuclear power reactor for a new generation of reactors by 2020.

In a speech to trade unions and business leaders following the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis, the president highlighted energy saving, greater use of renewable energy and nuclear power and spoke of the need for a Europe-wide energy policy.

"Climate change and the 'after oil' era are the challenges of this new century," Chirac said. "We will have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter by 2050, it's unavoidable. We have to learn progressively to do without oil," he said.

While France currently emits "40% less greenhouse gas per inhabitant than the average in developed countries," it now has to speed up the implementation of the energy choices set out in last July's energy orientation bill, he said.

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