France has banned short-haul domestic flights, on routes where there is an alternative to trains, in an attempt to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions, writes CNN.
The measure applies to routes where the same journey by plane can be made by train in less than two and a half hours. Currently, the ban will apply to flights connecting Paris to Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon.
This decision was made two years ago and came into effect on Tuesday, May 23.
France’s Transport Minister Clement Beaune welcomed the move as a first step.
“It is an essential step and a strong symbol of the policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Clemen Beaune.
“In the context of our struggle to limit carbon dioxide emissions, how can we justify using the plane between major cities that are connected by regular, fast and efficient train services,” he added.
But the measure is considered too mild by critics. Initially, a group of environmental specialists that helped draft the law recommended that the ban apply to flights that can be replaced by train journeys of less than four hours.
“No one will be fooled by this measure. Passengers avoid air travel over these distances anyway,” said Guillaume Schmid, former vice president of the French pilots’ union.
“The ban is a symbolic measure and will have very little impact when it comes to reducing emissions,” said Jo Dardenne, a member of the Transport and Environment NGO, which campaigns for reducing emissions.
According to the organization, the flights canceled by this measure represent only 0.3% of the total emissions generated by planes crossing France and 3% of the emissions generated by domestic flights.
Editor : D.R.
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