France has already started its fight against climate change. The Gallic country will prohibit its domestic flights that can be made by train in less than two and a half hours.
A decision that is already indicated in article 36 of the Law to combat climate change that has been approved on April 10 by the National Assembly of France. However, this prohibition is pending approval by the country’s Senate.
The intention of minimizing regular passenger air transport services on journeys within the country is based on further reducing carbon emissions, in the fight that the country maintains with climate change.
This prohibition it would enter into force “on the last Sunday of March of the year following the promulgation of the law”, as can be read on the website of the National Assembly itself.
The limitation of short-haul flights -and its rail alternative- It is one of the guidelines of the climate and resilience bill that was presented last February in the Council of Ministers of the French country.
An innovative project developed by the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, and whose text was assumed by the Government of Emmanuel Macron. In addition, these proposals were also built thanks to the participation of social entities, for the debate on the climate problem.
The most affected flights
The main objectives hidden in article 36 of this new law are the elimination of regular short flights between Paris – Orly airport – and Nantes, or Lyon and Bordeaux.
These are just a few examples of the flights that could suffer great consequences if the Senate passes the bans, in its goal of “reduce its carbon emissions, in France, by 40% between now and 2030 compared to 1990 levels.”
“We chose the 2:30 hour threshold because 4 hours would leave often landlocked territories like the great Massif Central. It would be unfair in terms of territorial equity,” argued Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, after managing a strip of up to four hours by train for the ban on domestic flights.
Ban with great criticism
Despite the fact that the French Government insists that this law represents a very important step in the fight against climate change, various environmental groups consider the measures weak, waiting for more ambition from the authorities.
There has also been no lack of protests or the indignation of parliamentarians from different sides at the bans on short flights and their rail alternative.
In fact, Joël Aviragnet, from the Socialist Party in Haute-Garonne, criticized the “disproportionate human cost” of this measure and warned against losing jobs in aeronautics.
The complaints were also joined by Jean-Marie Sermier and Martial Saddier, from the Republican party, stating that this limitation of flights means “breaking an exceptional sector”, already very affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
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