3 Ways France is On Its Way to Being a Green Country

By finding alternative energy sources and safeguarding nature, France just might become the greenest country in the world.

May 4, 2015
map of france

France is putting itself on the map for being a green country. [Shutterstock]

One of the strongest countries in the European Union, France is paying attention to its carbon footprint and creating legislation that will put the country on the path towards sustainability. With a population of 66 million and the world’s sixth largest strong economy, France has a lot of pull and can have a profound effect on other nations by upping environmental practices and becoming a truly green country.  
Learn more about how the country famous for its baked goods and cooking is gearing towards becoming one of the greenest countries in the world.  

1. ROOFTOPS GO GREEN  

Earlier this year, French Parliament passed a law that mandates that new buildings constructed in a commercial zone must partially cover their roofs in either plants or solar panels. Green roofs improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, attract and increase biodiversity and wildlife and conserve energy by providing greater thermal performance and roof insulation.

L'Historial de la Vendée

The L'Historial de la Vendée in France is outfitted with a green rooftop. [Wikipedia]

2. PARIS AS THE NEW CYCLING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

While this title has traditionally been reserved for cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, the City of Lights is rolling out a $164 million plan to make itself a bicyclist haven. In an effort to reduce heavy smog caused by carbon emissions, the plan will double its network of bike lanes and reduce speed limits on streets to 18mph. This is included with past initiatives to curb pollution by giving drivers money to trade diesel cars for electric and changing the public transit fare system so that all passengers pay the same price. 

PARIS,JUL 21:The peloton riding on the Seine riverside near the Eiffel Tower during the last stage of the 100th edition of Le Tour de France on July 21, 2013 in Paris

Bicyclists on the Siene riverside during the Le Tour de France [Shutterstock]

3. BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION AGENCY

The French Minister of Ecology is pushing for a bill that will protect biodiversity, which includes animals and marine environments. The proposal is looking to create a singular agency for Biodiversity which would merge the National Office for Water and Aquatic Environments as well as other national parks and marine protecting agencies.  

Pelicans in Parc de la Tete d'Or  Lyon France

Pelicans in Parc de la Tete d'Or  in Lyon France. [Shutterstock]