France will ban the sale of all petrol- and diesel-driven cars by 2040, in what is being hailed as a 'revolution' by the nation's ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot.

The ban on fossil fuel vehicles was announced by Mr Hulot, as part of France’s renewed commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Deal.

At present, only 1.2% of the French car market is comprised of pure electric vehicles, while hybrids account for only 3.5% of cars sold.

It is not clear, as yet, what will happen to petrol- and diesel-fuel vehicles still in use in 2040.

The move by the EU’s second most populous nation to ban fossil-fuel cars will inevitably prompt people to ask whether the UK will make similar commitments.

Germany and India have set a target of 2030 to become electric only, while Norway and the Netherlands aim to ban fossil-fuel car sales by 2025.

President Emmanuel Macron has been critical of the decision by President Trump to exit the Paris Climate Deal, urging Mr Trump to 'make our planet great again'.

Mr Hulot said: "France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision," adding that state investments would be required to meet the ambitious target.

A number of French cities struggle with heavy pollution, so the decisions will likely have a direct impact on the quality of French citizens’ lives, as well as benefitting the wider world.

Mr Hulot also said France would cease operating coal-fired power stations by 2022 and reduce nuclear power output to 50% by 2025.