France’s ban on short flights should be a wake-up call…

france’s-ban-on-short-flights-should-be-a-wake-up-call…

France’s ban on short flights should be a wake-up call…

France’s ban on short flights should be a wake-up call for action on air travel by Britain
2021-04-15 18:58:00
The French national assembly has voted to ban domestic flights on routes that could be travelled via train in under two and a half hours. This is the first time any major economy has prohibited domestic air travel for environmental reasons. It’s also far more drastic than anything the UK has done to curb flight emissions. We shouldn’t overstate the impact of the French domestic flight ban – or the extent to which its politicians are listening to its citizens’ concerns about the climate crisis. Nevertheless, the ban recognises that we can’t tackle climate change without some actual curbs on air travel. Up until now, the idea that there might be hard limits to consumption in a carbon-constrained world has been anathema to politicians everywhere. This ban is an important step towards accepting that curbing consumption is essential for driving down emissions. Finding fair ways to impose these limits in practice will be difficult. But banning unnecessary domestic flights should be the easiest place to start. Even if we can develop some technological solutions to aviation emissions, the Committee on Climate Change still finds that deliberate policies to limit the demand for flights will be needed to reach climate targets. Leo Murray sets out how far we need to go on this. .Tweet   France’s ban on short flights should be a wake-up call for Britain By Leo Murray   –  Opinion.  Air transport.  (The Guardian) Leo Murray is co-founder and director of innovation at climate charity Possible Tue 13 Apr 2021 Instead of stopping unnecessary air travel, the UK is considering measures that would make it cheaper This week the French national assembly voted to ban domestic flights on routes that could be travelled via train in under two and a half hours. The new rule, which is the result of a French citizens’ climate convention established by Emmanuel Macron in response to the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement, will capture 12% of French domestic flights. Though it’s more moderate than the convention’s initial proposal, which sought to ban all domestic flights on routes with rail alternatives of less than four hours, this is the first time any major economy has prohibited domestic air travel for environmental reasons. It’s also far more drastic than anything the UK has done to curb flight emissions. The huge blow the pandemic has dealt to the aviation industry could be an opportune moment to rethink the future of flights. Before Covid, air travellers rated around half of all flights as unnecessary. Apart from a few exceptions in particularly remote regions, domestic flights in small countries must be among the least necessary of all. Just over half a million flights were taken every year between London and Manchester before the pandemic, a journey that takes around two hours by train. Because so much of the pollution from any given flight takes place during take-off and landing cycles, the emissions produced per kilometre for each passenger on a domestic route are 70% higher than long haul flights – and six times higher than if the same journey was made by rail. But here in the UK, we’re not exactly seizing the moment. Government measures to address aviation emissions are limited to funding speculative te

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