France will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord. The announcement comes a day after Volvo said it would only make fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019 onwards. Nicolas Hulot, the country’s new ecology minister, said: “We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.” He said it would be a “tough” objective for carmakers but France’s industry was well equipped to make the switch. “Our carmakers have enough ideas in the drawer to nurture and bring about this promise ... which is also a public health issue.” Hulot insisted that the decision was a question of public health policy and “a way to fight against air pollution”. The veteran environmental campaigner was among several political newcomers to whom Macron gave top jobs in his government.