An article by Richard Lough for Reuters breaks the news of a major development in environmental and transportation policy in France, where lawmakers voted over the weekend to abolish domestic flights that can be completed by train in less than 2.5 hours.
The drastic step to curb the greenhouse gas emissions associated created by air travel came as part of a larger climate bill that aims to cut France’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade.
The news also comes as the air travel industry continues to deal with huge reductions in travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government recently allotted $4.75 billion to recapitalize Air France.
The decision to curb air travel to reduce emissions has precedent in Europe, building on the grassroots cultural movement that translates to “flight shame.” France has previously considered an ecotax on flights to help fund rail improvements, and the German Green party also released a plan to replace domestic air travel with rail trips by 2035.