French National Assembly agrees ban on domestic flights

The French parliament has approved a draft climate law which would ban domestic flights where the journey could be made by train.

But National Assembly’s climate legislation was widely criticised as inadequate to the task of tackling global warming.

The draft climate and resilience bill was approved by the assembly on a first reading on May 4 and is due to go before the French Senate next month.

A series of measures across the economy include a halt on airport construction and expansion and a ban on flights of up to two and a half hours where a train could be taken instead.

The ban would exclude flights offering a connection to an international flight.

Environment minister Barbara Pompili described the measures as “demanding” and said they would “affect the daily life of all our citizens”, insisting: “We are putting in place effective measures.”

But a ‘climate convention’ of members of the public and experts set up by the government to make recommendations on combating global warming said the draft legislation “absolutely does not enable France to meet its objectives”.

President Macron has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. However, the EU has set a target of a 55% cut in emissions by 2030.

A French court ruled the government must do more in February, while a German government plan for steeper cuts than those proposed by France was rejected as “insufficient” by the country’s constitutional court last week.

Jean-Francois Julliard, head of Greenpeace France said the legislation “might have been adequate 15 years ago, when the climate emergency was less pressing. In 2021, it will not be enough to tackle global warming.”

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