France Bans Some Short-Distance Flights in Move to Cut Emissions
Flights that can be completed by an equivalent train ride in under 2.5 hours will no longer operate in France.
The Details: The law was finalized two years after lawmakers voted to pass it. Air travel from Paris to cities like Lyon, Bordeaux and Nantes will cease. The EU insisted banned air routes must have a high-speed rail alternative that enables travel in under 2.5 hours, and that there must be enough early and late-running trains to enable travelers to spend at least eight hours at their destination. French President Emmanuel Macron's environmental panel had originally recommended banning flights where a train trip would take fewer than four hours.
Key Quotes: "This is an essential step and a strong symbol in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions," the country’s Transportation Minister said. The head of industry group Airlines for Europe disagreed, and urged "real and significant solutions" instead of "symbolic bans."
For Context: Some estimate planes emit more than five times the amount of CO2 per passenger than trains or buses do, and emit around 100 times more CO2 per hour than a shared bus or train ride. Climate activists have focused more on reducing airlines emissions in recent years, and celebrities who frequently fly private have become a target of criticism.
How the Media Covered it: Sources across the spectrum covered the news, and highlighted critics who said the ban didn't go far enough.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftFrance bans short-haul flights where trains are available
A ban on short domestic flights for journeys that can be completed in two-and-a-half hours by train was signed into law in France on Tuesday.
Clement Beaune, France’s transport minister, heralded the decree.
“This is an essential step and a strong symbol in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Beaune said in a statement.
“As we fight relentlessly to decarbonize our lifestyles, how can we justify the use of the plane between the big cities which benefit from regular, fast and efficient connections by train,” he added.
From the Right‘A Strong Symbol’: France Bans Short-Distance Flights to Combat Climate Change
Flights that can be covered in under two-and-a-half hours by an equivalent train ride will no longer be allowed to operate in France.
“This is an essential step and a strong symbol in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the country’s Transportation Minister, Clement Beaune, said in a statement following the announcement on Tuesday.
“As we fight relentlessly to decarbonize our lifestyles, how can we justify the use of the plane between the big cities which benefit from regular, fast and efficient connections by train,” the official added.
From the CenterFrance bans short-haul flights to cut carbon emissions
France has banned domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to cut carbon emissions.
The law came into force two years after lawmakers had voted to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours.
The ban all but rules out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, while connecting flights are unaffected.
Critics have described the latest measures as "symbolic bans".
Laurent Donceel, interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), told the AFP news...