France's parliament passed a law on Tuesday that will ban the production of oil and gas by 2040. For a country nearly entirely dependent—99 percent—on hydrocarbon imports, the law is more symbolic that anything. The country is looking to move away from fossil fuels, and in turn, inspire others to do the same. Socialist lawmaker Delphine Batho told The Guardian that she hopes the ban will be "contagious."
The law states that, "No new permits will be granted to extract fossil fuels and no existing licenses will be renewed beyond 2040, when all production in mainland France and its overseas territories will stop."
President Emmanuel Macron, who has expressed a desire in the past to have France focus its attention on pursuing renewable sources over fossil fuels, posted a tweet, expressing his happiness towards the new law. "Very proud that France has become the first country in the world today to ban any new oil exploration licences with immediate effect and all oil extraction by 2040," he wrote.
To enact large scale change, it always takes one person or place to step out in front of everyone else and take the bold step forward. France may have done just that.