After banning short flights in April in a bid to encourage green travel, the French government, which is due to take over the EU presidency from January to June 2022, has revealed that it will not push for the ban to be adopted by the remaining EU member. Countries.
The comments were made by the French Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebari, who noted that France has a specific rail network with many high-speed trains, making trips comfortable for travelers, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Maybe we could have a discussion [at an EU level]But so far we have a national approach, given the national railway network.
The comments added by Minister Jabbari are important because the French government will take over the EU’s rotating presidency, giving it the right to lobby and possibly discuss transport policies in the 27-nation bloc for the first half of 2022.
In other words, domestic flights of less than two and a half hours are prohibited by French law, and these can be replaced by alternative trains. The law applies only to domestic destinations, for example, from Paris to Lyon, with the exception of connecting flights. According to environmental groups, this measure makes the overall impact on emissions minimal.
France currently has 2,800 km of high-speed trains connecting destinations such as London, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, but does not restrict flights with them despite the fact that these destinations are easily accessible by train. Last month, Greenpeace called on European governments to cancel short trips that have a six-hour alternative to rail.
In the statement, the Global Environmental Campaign noted that the simple way Europeans can cut back on pollution is to use the rail alternative to destinations within Europe, which is also easier and more economical for people.
Commercial aviation is responsible for 2.5 percent of global carbon emissions, and most of the pollution is from long-haul flights. Djbari, a former pilot, cautioned that while these measures are necessary to address the industry’s impact on climate change, necessary initiatives are required to address new taxes and fees.
“If in five years the middle class realizes that they cannot travel anymore, we will have a European political problem. Therefore, we need to be careful what they do,” he said.
Connecting Europe Express, an alternative to inter-EU rail travel that passes through all 26 member state capitals, began its journey from Lisbon, Portugal, on September 2, passing 33 border crossings and more than 20,000 kilometres. The train ended its journey on October 7 with Paris, the French capital, after 36 days and 120 stops across the 26-nation bloc. The train was created to mark the European Year of Rail 2021, in an effort to raise awareness of the benefits of rail transport and green travel.