France bans domestic short-haul flights

A plane flies over France. The government there wants to reduce short-haul flights in the country to reduce emissions.

Alan Pitton | Nurphoto | Getty Images

France’s ban on short-haul domestic flights came into effect this week when alternatives to train travel existed, in what one lawmaker hailed as an “important step” in the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

the law has been published pass the lawpublic internal flights between French destinations are essentially banned when the train journey is less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.

France has an extensive high-speed rail network. According to CNBC’s translation, flight substitutions will only apply if train travel “provides a satisfactory alternative service.”

This means that public passenger flights between Paris-Orly airport and cities such as Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon will be affected by the law. Connecting flights are not affected.

in a statement Translated by CNBC, Transport Minister Clément Beaune described the move as “an important step and a strong sign for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

Born also said the ban was “the first of its kind in the world and fully in line with the government’s policy to encourage the use of transport modes that emit less greenhouse gases.”

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The World Wildlife Fund describes aviation’s environmental footprint as “one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change”.

WWF also said air travel is “currently the most carbon-intensive activity an individual can undertake”.

The news from France comes amid a wider debate over wages for the use of private jets. March 2023, Analysis published by Greenpeace The number of private jet flights in Europe jumped 64% last year to a record high of 572,806, the data showed.

The use of private jets by high-profile, wealthy individuals has sparked a lot of discussion.

period BBC interview Earlier this year, Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates was asked what he thought of the hypocritical allegations that climate change activists use private jets.

“Well, I bought Gold Standard, funded (carbon dioxide removal company) Climeworks to do direct air capture, and it’s far more than my house’s carbon footprint,” Gates said in an interview in Kenya. answer.

“I’m spending billions of dollars on…climate innovation. So, you know, should I just stay home instead of coming to Kenya to study agriculture and malaria?”

The billionaire added that he was “comfortable with the idea that not only would I not be part of the problem by paying compensation, but through the billions spent by my Breakthrough Energy group, I would be part of the solution.” . “

While the direct air capture industry has high-profile supporters, it also faces challenges. The IEA notes that capturing CO2 from the air is “more energy-intensive and therefore more costly than capturing CO2 from point sources.”

It added that technologies such as direct air capture “cannot replace the excuse to reduce emissions or delay action, but they can be an important part of the suite of technology options used to meet climate goals.”

—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report

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