France will phase out sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and become carbon neutral 10 years later, ecology minister Nicolas Hulot reportedly said.

Reuters said Hulot presented an array of measures under six themes and 23 policy proposals, but specific details were short.

"One of the symbolic acts of the plan is that France, which previously had made the promise to divide its greenhouse gas emissions by four by 2050, has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the U.S. decision," Hulot said.

"The carbon neutral objective will force us to make the necessary investments."

Deciding to end sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles would not be easy and was something of a revolution but solutions were available and French car makers would be up to the task.

According to Reuters, diesel and petrol vehicles accounted for about 95.2% of French new car fleets in the first half of year while electric vehicles took a 1.2% share and hybrids 3.5%.

Hulot said ending the use of fossil fuels was also central in the French objective to cut carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

Among the key policy proposals is the plan to end the delivery of hydrocarbon licences in France, with legislation to that effect due later this year, the news agency's report added.