As the French government seeks to lower CO2 emissions and fight climate change lawmakers have voted to abolish domestic flights on routes than can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours, the Guardian reported.
The vote for the measure on April 10, which is part of a broader climate bill that aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels, came days after the state said it would contribute to a €4 billion recapitalisation of Air France, more than doubling its stake in the flag carrier, to shore up its finances after over a year of COVID-19 travel curbs, Reuters reported.
Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher dismissed criticism from the aviation industry that a recovery from COVID-19 that has crippled airlines 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.”
After a heated debate in the Assemblée Nationale at the weekend, the ban, a watered-down version of a key recommendation from President Emmanuel Macron’s citizens’ climate convention was adopted, according to the Guardian, noting that it will mean the end of short internal flights from Orly airport, south of Paris, to Nantes and Bordeaux among others, though connecting flights through Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport, north of the French capital, will continue.