A new French law is leaving inefficient, carbon-heavy architecture in the dust. Beginning in 2022, the nation will require all buildings it finances to be made with 50% wood, or other other sustainable materials like hemp or straw. Julien Denormandie, the country’s minister for cities and housing, announced the move toward more responsible building practices at a UNESCO event on February 5.
It’s the latest in a series of green initiatives in France, which is the first country to outline a clear plan to address the worsening climate crisis. President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to make France carbon-neutral by 2050 was voted in last year, and the country plans to put $21 million toward a network of 100 urban farms that will provide communities with access to fresh, local produce. Forests are also being planted around architectural landmarks, adding greenery to public spaces.