The French parliament has approved a law that will prohibit the extraction of gas and oil in France and the overseas territories from 2040. With this measure, it will become the first country in the world to put a definitive end to production of fossil fuels; a significant step in the fight against climate change and the transition to a decarbonized world.

France produces about 815,000 tons of oil per year, a figure that Saudi Arabia equals in a few hours, and depends 99% on imports of hydrocarbons, so the measure is fundamentally symbolic, but it reflects the determination to replace fossil fuels – and nuclear energy – with renewable energy. The measure will mainly affect oil prospecting and the renewal of licenses in the South American territory of Guyana.

The measure follows in the wake of Costa Rica, which prohibited the extraction of fossils, but temporarily until 2021.