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According to Dezeen, the French government has passed a law that will require all new public buildings to be built from at least 50% timber or other natural materials. The law affects all public buildings financed by the French state and goes into effect in 2022. "I impose on all the public establishments which depend on me and which make the development or the policy of land to build buildings with materials which are at least 50% of wood or bio-based materials," said Julien Denormandie, the country's minister for cities and housing.

Bio-based materials are made from matter derived from living organisms, with examples including hemp and straw. Like wood, they have a significantly lower embodied carbon footprint compared to other construction materials like concrete and steel.

The proposal aligns with France's Sustainable City plan launched in 2009, and also president Emmanuel Macron's drive for the country to be carbon-neutral by 2050.The comment by Denormandie to AFP was made following his seminar at the Living in the city of tomorrow event at UNESCO on February 5.

During the event, he explained that his decision to introduce the law encouraging the use of bio-based materials was informed by the construction of the 2024 Paris Olympics complex. Any building in the development that rises more than eight stories will be built entirely from timber.

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