France bans select short domestic flights in a bid to cut carbon emissions

France has banned short-haul internal flights, when rail alternatives could cover the journey in 2h30 or less, in a bid to cut carbon emissions.

The bill, which was voted in the French Parliament on 10 April, will only apply to a handful of routes including those between Paris and Nantes, and Lyon and Bordeaux. Connecting flights are excluded.

It forms part of a broader climate bill from France which looks to cut carbon emissions from 1990’s levels by 40% by 2030.

France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate, which was created by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and included 150 members of the public, had proposed scrapping plane journeys where train journeys of under four hours existed. But this was reduced to two-and-a-half hours after objections from some regions, and the airline Air France-KLM.

The vote comes as governments around the world look at ways to lower carbon emissions and achieve net-zero targets. 

France is not the first country to ban short-haul flights. In November 2020, Austrian carrier Austrian Airlines substituted its short flights between Vienna and the city of Graz with three-hour train journeys instead.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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