Domestic Flights to Be Banned in France to Curb Carbon Emissions
France launched yet another initiative, aimed at curbing carbon emissions. Under new amendments in legislation all domestic flights that could be substituted by train travel for under two and a half hour routes will be permanently suspended, Reuters reported. The move is the last in a series of actions targeted to lower green house gases. For the transport companies it comes on top of pandemic driven reduction of business and profits.
The measure is part of a broader climate bill that aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels, though activists accuse President Emmanuel Macron of forgetting earlier vowes in the draft legislation. The vote came days after the state said it would contribute to a 4 billion euro worth recapitalisation of Air France, more than doubling its stake in the flagcarrier.
Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher dismissed criticism from the aviation industry that a pandemic recovery was not the time to ban some domestic flights, and said there was no contradiction between the bailout and the climate bill. “We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions,” she told Europe 1 radio. “Equally, we must support our companies and not let them fall by the wayside.”
Air traffic may not return to pre-crisis levels before 2024, McKinsey analysts forecast. Some environmental campaigners have said the bill does not go far enough. A citizens’ climate forum established by Macron to help shape climate policy had called for the scrapping of flights on routes where the train journey is less than 4 hours. Saturday night’s vote in the National Assembly was the first. The bill goes to the Senate before a third and final vote in the lower house, where Macron’s ruling party and allies dominate.
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