France offers financial incentives to encourage switch to electric bikes

Image Source: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

In a fantastic move to reduce pollution and save the environment, France is offering its citizens a 2,500 euros grant to hand over their old, polluting vehicles for scrap in return for purchasing an electric bicycle.

In mid-April, lawmakers in France approved this decision in a preliminary vote as part of a broader and more ambitious plan to draft a climate bill that would reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 per cent in 2030 from 1990 levels.

The French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB) confirmed that if this bill were adopted, France will become the first nation in the world to give its citizens the opportunity to trade in an ageing vehicle for an electric or folding bicycle.

“For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” said Olivier Schneider of the FUB.

Apart from this, the new bill will prohibit advertising of fossil fuels, aim to cut urban sprawls by half, and prohibit domestic flights on those routes that can be covered by train in less than 2.5 hours.

Interestingly, France is not the first nation in the world to come up with this ‘cash for cars’ scheme. Earlier, Finland offered a similar initiative to its residents, a move that saw over 3,000 cars being handed over. Lithuania also had carried out a similar scheme which saw much success.

More than 100 countries across the world, which include China and the European Union, have aimed to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Isn’t this a great initiative by the government? Do you think it will succeed? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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