Lawmakers in French Parliament have approved a measure that could prompt big moves at reducing greenhouse emissions. Added as an amendment to a climate bill draft, the concept would provide grant monies to owners of gas-powered cars to then be used to purchase a slick new electric or folding bicycle, with a total of 2,500 euros, or approximately $2,975.
It’s an inspired idea that may help entice owners of old beat-up vehicles to finally let go of these aging relics. The measure is further interesting in the way it targets issues at multiple levels, helping people economically with the grant, which also goes towards a healthier means of travel. Additionally, their old vehicles will be scrapped after the exchange, ensuring that they are at least recycled to a better environmental purpose.
Reuters spoke with Olivier Schneider of the French Federation of Bicycle Users, who shared his notion of reducing gas-powered vehicles as a more impactful move towards greenhouse emission reduction: “For the first time, it is recognized that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number.”
Some similar measures have appeared in recent years in countries like Finland and Lithuania. They’ve offered “cash-for-clunkers” grants in the past, though France’s would present more than double the offered price; both nations used a €1,000 grant, which could also be applied to greener cars and public transportation tickets.
The measure has not yet set in, but it’d be wonderful to see the trend spread.