Whiter shade of pale green: France's modest plans for a brave new world of energy use

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The French government’s environment and energy minister Ségolène Royal has just unveiled her plans for what is known as “energy transition” - the move to a society which uses less energy and which switches from fossil and nuclear fuel to renewables. This long-awaited new law, which will be debated by the French Parliament in the autumn, has been touted as one of the flagship measures of President François Hollande's five-year term of office. But as Mediapart's environment correspondent Jade Lindgaard and Dan Israel report, the proposals, while regarded as a step in the right direction, have been widely described as timid and lacking in ambition.

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President François Hollande has made it clear that his government's law on energy transition is “one of the most important of [my] term in office”. Last week it was presented by environment and energy minister Ségolène Royal to the government's weekly ministerial cabinet meeting amid considerable fanfare.