France is set to ban short-haul domestic flights

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Travelers are boarding an Air Corsica Airbus A 320 in Marseille during the Christmas holidays at Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on December 23, 2020.

Travelers are boarding an Air Corsica Airbus A 320 in Marseille during the Christmas holidays at Ajaccio Napoleon Bonaparte Airport on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica on December 23, 2020.
photo: Pascal Pochard-Casabianca (Getty Images)

People took fewer flights ain the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, which helped reduction of carbon pollution from aviation about 60%. Now, France is trying to make part of this reduction permanent.

The French National Assembly on Saturday put forward legislation that would ban all domestic short-haul flights flights that could be replaced by an existing train route takes less than two and a half hours. The bill will now go to the nation’s Senate for final approval. If it does, it will put an end to popular domestic flights, such as those from Paris to Bordeaux and Strasbourg. The measure is however an exception for connecting flights, such as those passing through the large Charles de Gaulle airport.

Before the spread of covid-19 began, aviation emissions were on the rise. A United Nations body provide that carbon pollution from airplanes ctriple by 2050. The pandemic has hampered this growth, but the experts made it clear this World leaders must codify permanent regulations to prevent we end up frying the planet on aviation.

Short-haul flights are a good place to start. Some estimates indicate they are the the most carbon intensive air travel form. The invoices – who is part a broader effort to ensure that France respects its commitment to the Paris Agreement Cut carbon dioxide emission 40% below 1990 levels by 2030– makes sense by replacing high carbon flights with less polluting trains.

France is not the first European country to crack down on short-haul aviation. Last year the Austrian government enacted a tax at all flights under 350 kilometers (217 miles) last June and banned domestic flights which could be replaced by a three-hour train ride. The Dutch authorities are also considering banning short domestic flights since 2013. In 2019, the Dutch parliament voted for the ban the 93 miles (150 kilometers) flight route from Amsterdam to Brussels. But the measure was never implemented because it was deemed not to comply with European standard CCommission Free Movement Regulation.

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France’s move comes less than a year after the country included stipulations in its covid-19 financial recovery plans demanding airlines, in particular the company Air France-KLM, to reduce their pollution in exchange for economic bailouts. Among the conditions, there was do not compete with less polluting forms of travel such as the train.

Yet the new flight ban about to be approved could be let Air France-KLM get too loose. In 2019, French citizens’ convention on the climate, a group created by President Emmanuel Macron which included 150 members of the public, in fact proposed to get rid of all thefts or travel by train under four the hours were available. But at Saturday’s assembly meeting, Air France-KLM opposed the move, citing how their profits have been affected by the covid-19 flight restrictions.

During the meeting, Danièle Obono, a deputy of the left-wing party La France Insoumise, mentionned government’s plan to move away from a four-hour limit “would save the three routes that emit the most greenhouse gases: Paris-Nice, Paris-Toulouse, [and] Paris-Marseille. »But the Minister of Transport of the country Jean-Baptiste Djebbari Told parliamentarians that the two and a half hours the limit was preferable because “four hours risk isolating the landlocked. » L’administration Macron is no stranger to implementing policies that burn people remote areas, after implementing – then go backa disastrous gas tax in 2018. But they seem to go against the will of the people here in the aviation department. industry.

Personally, I think Obono seems to have the right idea. But even the watered-down bill looks a little better than anything that gets weighed in the US Our country didn’t even have air pollution regulations until last year, and those passed in 2020 is a joke. So from where I’m sitting, measurement always seems like a good first step– as long as it is actually finalized in the senate.

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