France bans short-haul flights as it looks to cut transport emissions

An airplane within the skies over France. The authorities there needs to cut short-haul flights within the nation to scale back emissions.

Alain Pitton | Nurphoto | Getty Images

A French ban on home short-haul flights when various prepare journeys exist got here into pressure this week, with one lawmaker hailing it as “an important step” within the nation’s efforts to cut greenhouse gasoline emissions.

The legislation, which was revealed via decree, basically prohibits public inside flights between French locations when a prepare journey of underneath 2 hours and half-hour is obtainable.

France is dwelling to an intensive high-speed rail community. According to a CNBC translation, the flight substitution applies solely when prepare journey “supplies a passable various service.”

It means public passenger flights between Paris-Orly and cities like Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon, are affected by the legislation. Connecting flights should not impacted.

In a statement translated by CNBC, Clément Beaune, transport minister, described the transfer as “an important step and a powerful image within the coverage of lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions.”

Beaune additionally mentioned the ban was a “world first that’s totally in step with the Government’s coverage of encouraging the usage of modes of transportation that emit fewer greenhouse gases.”

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The World Wildlife Fund describes the environmental footprint of aviation as “one of many fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gasoline emissions driving world local weather change.”

The WWF additionally says air journey is “at the moment probably the most carbon intensive exercise a person could make.”

The information out of France comes as the broader debate about personal jet use wages on. In March 2023, analysis published by Greenpeace confirmed the variety of personal jet flights in Europe final 12 months jumped by 64% to a document excessive of 572,806.

The use of personal jets by high-profile, rich folks generates a considerable amount of dialogue.

During a BBC interview earlier this 12 months, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was requested for his view on the cost {that a} local weather change campaigner’s use of a personal jet was hypocritical.

“Well, I purchase the gold customary of, funding (CO2 removing agency) Climeworks to do direct air seize that far exceeds my household’s carbon footprint,” Gates, who was being interviewed in Kenya, replied.

“And I spend billions of {dollars} on … local weather innovation. So, you already know, ought to I keep at dwelling and never come to Kenya and find out about farming and malaria?”

The billionaire added that he was “comfy with the concept, not solely am I not a part of the issue by paying for the offsets, but additionally by means of the billions that my Breakthrough Energy Group is spending, that I’m a part of the answer.”

While the direct air seize sector has high-profile backers, it faces challenges. The International Energy Agency notes that capturing carbon dioxide from the air “is extra vitality intensive and due to this fact costly than capturing it from a degree supply.”

It provides that applied sciences like direct air seize “should not another to slicing emissions or an excuse for delayed motion, however they are often an necessary a part of the suite of expertise choices used to obtain local weather objectives.”

—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report

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