France's environment minister is backing down on promises to sharply reduce nuclear power production so that the government can concentrate on reducing fossil fuels instead.

Nicolas Hulot told reporters Tuesday that it's too "brutal and unrealistic" to meet earlier pledges to cap the amount of France's electricity produced by nuclear plants at 50 percent by 2025.

Hulot said President Emmanuel Macron's government remains committed to reducing nuclear energy and ordered his ministry to produce a new timetable.

But Hulot made clear his priority is weaning France's economy from fuel that contributes to global warming. His ambitious goals include banning all sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.

France depends more on nuclear energy than any other country, getting about three-quarters of its electricity from its 58 nuclear plants.