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Paris adopts 'climate plan' to slash emissions

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Oct 1, 2007
Paris on Monday adopted a plan aimed at slashing the city's greenhouse-gas emissions and energy use, as France gears up for a high-profile conference on the environment.

Under the plan adopted by the mayors of Paris's 20 districts, both left- and right-wing, city authorities pledge to cut the emissions and energy consumption of public buildings and services by 30 percent by 2020. The city hopes to able to slash overall transport emissions by a quarter.

The Socialist mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe -- who championed green projects including new tramway lines, cycle paths and a cheap mass bike-rental scheme -- said the climate plans were a "choice of civilisation."

"The environmental emergency is the greatest challenge of this century," he said ahead of the plan's adoption.

Paris city authorities have already taken steps to reduce their environmental impact, using "clean" vehicles and recycled paper, and ensuring that all new public housing answers to high environmental standards, he said.

Future plans include the creation of eco-neighbourhoods and the signature of an environmental partnership with the foundation of former US president Bill Clinton.

Delanoe's right-wing rival for municipal elections next year, Francoise de Panafieu, said she backed the plan given the "historic stakes" involved, but criticised it as too little, too late.

French big business, trade unions, government and environmental groups are to come together later this month for a high-profile summit chaired by President Nicolas Sarkozy, billed as the start of a "green revolution."

Last week participants unveiled a raft of measures to be put to a public debate this month and finalised at the summit.

They include green taxes on gas-guzzling cars, lower speed limits, eco-labels on supermarket food, a cutback in pesticide use and new rules on energy efficiency in the construction industry.

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