The French National Assembly on Saturday voted to ban domestic flight routes that can be traversed by train within two-and-a-half hours. The measure is part of Bill 3875, titled “on the fight against climate change and strengthening resilience in the face of its effects.” While the bill is part of a larger effort to reduce aviation emissions, estimates suggest that relatively few flight routes will be affected by the ban.
The short-haul flight ban has also been criticized by the airline industry for cutting routes while the industry is facing economic difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, responded to the criticism, stating, “We know that aviation is a contributor of carbon dioxide and that because of climate change we must reduce emissions. Equally, we must support our companies and not let them fall by the wayside.”
The bill also adopted an objective that air companies will have to pay a carbon tax by 2025. It is part of an overall French commitment towards reducing greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate and lower house for voting, and is expected to be passed into law.