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France to boost renewable energy, reduce nuclear

media Energy and Environment Minister Ségolène Royal presents the energy transition law in Paris Reuters/Benoit Tessier

France is to invest up to 10 billion euros to boost investment in renewable energy and cut the country's oil and gas costs. On Wednesday French Environment and Energy Minister Ségolène Royal presented a long-delayed energy bill to the weekly cabinet meeting.

One of the bill’s goals is to reduce the country's reliance on nuclear energy from 75 per cent.of its electricity production to 50 per cent.

Royal also plans to boost renewable energy sources.

The plan does not live up to President François Hollande’s campaign promises on the environment, for MP Noël Mamère, who resigned from the Green Party, EELV, last year because he felt it had betrayed its original ideals.

“First the closing of the Fessenheim nuclear plant does not appear at all in the bill,” he told RFI. “Nothing is said about agriculture while it’s one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Nothing is said about public transport and rail freight. And meanwhile, we continue to support a project such as the Lyon-Turin rail link that costs millions of euros."

Hervé Mariton of the right-wing UMP party told RFI that he found the plan unconvincing.

Businesses gave a cautious welcome to Royal’s proposals.

A host of amendments are expected from both left and right when the bill goes to parliament in October.

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