A new rule which would see a ban on some short-haul flights in France was signed into law recently to make the country more environmentally friendly.
As France aims to become more environmentally friendly, Clement Beaune, France’s transport minister, has officially signed a new law to encourage rail transport instead of air travel.
It is hoped that this move will improve France’s rail industry and help the country meet its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The move, however, which seems promising to many, has also been met with mixed reactions by quite a few too.
Banning short-haul flights – not allowed when trains are available
According to the new law, short-haul domestic flights, which can be finished within two and a half hours by train, will be officially banned.
Currently, there have been three routes which have been discontinued. The routes in question link Paris-Orly Airport to Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux. Connecting flights, however, remain unaffected.
Furthermore, it has been outlined that for any air route in question, there must be a high-speed rail alternative.
The importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions – making the earth greener
When speaking about the new law and its effect on the environment and climate change, Clement Beaune, France’s transport minister, said, “This is an essential step and a strong symbol in the policy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“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”.
For the ban to apply, the EU stressed that any air route in question must have a high-speed rail alternative that meets the criteria of being able to travel between the two cities in less than two-and-a-half hours.
Also, for the ban to be in effect, there must be an adequate amount of early and late-running trains to enable any would-be travellers to enjoy at least eight hours at their destination.
Reaction to Emmanuel Macron’s plan – has been criticised for apparently watering down his own proposals
While it’s true that a lot of people have reacted positively to the new law introduced by France regarding banning short-haul flights, it’s also fair to say that there has been quite a bit of criticism.
Many critics have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of purposely watering down his own proposals from his own environmental panel as they had suggested a ban on flights where alternative train journeys would take less than four hours.
“No one will be fooled by this measure: passengers are naturally turning away from taking flights on these routes,” tweeted Guillaume Schmid, former vice president of Air France’s pilots’ union.
“The French flight ban is a symbolic move, but will have very little impact on reducing emissions,” said Jo Dardenne, an aviation director at cleaner transport campaign group Transport & Environment.