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Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of French President Emmanuel Macron's plan to make France a carbon neutral country by 2050.

Mr Hulot said he recognised that the target would put pressure on France's vehicle manufacturers but said they now had projects which could fulfil that promise. In 2022, France will also end coal generated electricity production and will cut the share of nuclear power generation in the French electricity make up to 50 percent by 2025.

To that end, he announced last month that France would no longer give licenses for oil and gas exploration in France and its overseas territories. From then on, every auto produced by the company would either be all-electric or hybrid.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to "make the planet great again" after President Donald Trump announce that the USA would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

France is set to ban the sale of any auto that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a "revolution".

Describing the end of petrol and diesel sales as a "public health" issue, Hulot said: "We are announcing the end of the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040". With aims to become a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, France's government is working swiftly to keep the country on track.

Macron's call to "Make the planet great again", a parody of U.S. President Donald Trump's slogan "Make America great again", included an invitation to U.S. climate scientists to work in France, The Telegraph reported.

Mr Hulot also said "citizen panels" will be established in order to debate practical ways in which France can meet its commitment under the Paris climate accord and reduce its emissions. Germany wants to stop the sale of them from 2030, while the latter countries are targeting to implement the ban from 2025.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), only 3.6 percent of cars sold in Western Europe in 2016 were hybrid or electric.


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