■ Bold New Law Requires Green Rooftops in France

Under a law passed in March by the French Parliament, new buildings in commercial zones must partially cover their roofs with plants or solar panels.

“This draft law is a very positive step forward and a concrete lever for greener and smarter cities,” said James Watson, CEO of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. “There are so many unused rooftops in our cities today and solar photovoltaics is the perfect solution to make the best out of them as it can be seamlessly integrated in an urban setting.”

Watson added that rooftops, large or small, represent 70 percent of the installed solar capacity in France.

French environmental activists initially had called for a stricter rule that would require all new buildings to be completely covered with either solar panels or plants, according to Agence France-Presse, but the government convinced them to limit it to only commercial buildings.

Even with the limitations, this is progress for France, which has lagged behind other major European countries like Italy, Germany, and Spain in solar power development.

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(CBS News)

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