French President Emmanuel Macron inspects the honor guards during a military parade in the courtyard of the Invalides in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Philippe Wojazer/Pool Photo via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday the country will move more slowly than promised to cap the amount of energy it derives from nuclear energy.
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Amid daily protests about high energy prices, Macron said France will shut down 14 nuclear reactors by 2035 out of 58 now in order.
Yet he said France would cap the amount of electricity it derives from nuclear plants at 50 percent by 2035. That is a delay compared with the goal of 2025 set by his predecessor, Francois Hollande.
France depends more on nuclear energy than any other country, getting about three-quarters of its electricity from its 19 nuclear plants.
The French leader promised to develop renewable energy instead, saying his priority is weaning France’s economy from fuel that contributes to global warming.
Macron also said the government will find a way to delay tax increases on fuel during periods when world oil prices are rising. The move aims to reproduce the situation that has led to protests in recent days, some of which have become violent and even marred the famed Champs-Elysees avenue in central Paris.
In an attempt to calm the protesters, Macron proposed a three-month consultation with associations and activist groups, including the so-called “yellow jackets” who have led the recent protests, about how best to handle the rising energy costs.