France bans domestic flights to curb emissions; trains to ramp up frequency

The decision was undertaken in an attempt to cut carbon emissions

BS Web Team New Delhi
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France on Tuesday announced to ban domestic flights on short routes that can be easily covered by train in less than two-and-a-half hours.
The decision was undertaken in an attempt to cut carbon emissions.

According to media reports, the law came into force two years after the lawmakers voted to end routes where the same journey could be made by trains in less than two-and-a-half hours. The move will mostly rule out air travel between Paris and regional hubs such as Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux.
"On average, the plane emits 77 times more CO2 per passenger than the train on these routes, even though the train is cheaper and the time lost is limited to 40 minutes," the report said.

The French government's law also specified that the train services on the same route must be frequent, well-connected, and timely to meet the demand of passengers, who would otherwise travel by air.
The report stated that people who will be making such short trips should also be able to make return train journeys on the same day, after having spent eight hours at their destination.

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Although the measure was a part of the 2021 climate law and was applied in practice already, some airlines had asked the European Commission to probe whether it was legal.
This development has now irked the aviation industry after French lawmakers have been debating on how to cut emissions from private jets. 

The report states that France's Citizens' Convention on Climate, which was created by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and included 150 members of the public, had proposed scrapping plane journeys where train journeys of under four hours existed. However, this was reduced to two-and-a-half hours after facing objections from some regions, as well as the airline Air France-KLM.

First Published: May 23 2023 | 11:53 PM IST

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