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BRIEF-French environment minister envisages end to sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2040

July 6 (Reuters) - Briefing by French environment minister Nicolas Hulot:

* Hulot says the French government is envisaging an end to the sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2040

* Authorities across Europe are looking to raise taxes on diesel vehicles that are more polluting than originally thought, and ban or restrict their use in some cities

* Sales of diesel cars have been falling since a Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal back in 2015, but have dropped faster after some cities, including Stuttgart and Munich, said they were considering banning some diesel vehicles, blaming emissions for a rise in respiratory disease.

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