France will offer the owners of old internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles a grant of €2,500 ($AU4,000) if they hand over their vehicles for scrap and buy an electric bicycle, according to Reuters.
Reporting on Monday, Reuters said that French lawmakers in the National Assembly approved over the weekend an amendment to the country’s ‘Fight against climate change’ bill currently passing through the French Parliament.
The bill, which aims to set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030 based on 1990 levels, will unsurprisingly include a raft of minor legislative goals to reach the country’s ambitious greenhouse reduction target.
Included amongst these legislative targets is a plan to offer a €2,500 grant to buy an electric bicycle, in exchange for the scrapping of an old ICE vehicle.
If the amendment is approved, France would become the world’s first country to offer such a trade in, highlighting not only the need for old ICE vehicles to be quickly retired, but also demonstrating the importance of non-traditional transport options such as bicycles.
“For the first time it is recognised that the solution is not to make cars greener, but simply to reduce their number,” said Olivier Schneider of the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB).
In mid-March, the FUB railed against France’s rejection of several proposals it had submitted to address the absence of support for bicycles in the country’s Climate and Resilience legislation.
According to an FUB Facebook post, a total of 18 suggested proposals were rejected for not having even “an indirect link to the subject of the text” – a worrying conclusion for one of the original genuinely emissions free transport options, and an option highlighted annually by one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the Tour de France.
“This systematic refusal of the debate on active mobility in the Climate Act is incomprehensible,” the FUB said.
The introduction and approval in a preliminary vote of a “cash for clunkers” legislation to support the purchase of electric or folding bicycles demonstrates at least a nod towards a need to include active mobility options.
Specific text of the amendment appears yet to be available on the French National Assembly website, but that is somewhat unsurprising as discussion on the proposed amendment seems to have taken place on Saturday.