To cut carbon emissions, France bans short flights when a perfectly good train can get you there

In an effort to reduce carbon emission, France just banned short-haul domestic flights where there's a train that does the same route in under two-and-a-half hours. This ban pretty much wipes out air travel between Paris and a few cities like Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux. It won't affect connecting flights.

However, critics are calling it a "symbolic ban" and suggest it won't make much of a dent in the CO2 output. (Kottke)


Laurent Donceel, interim head of industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), told the AFP news agency that "banning these trips will only have minimal effects" on CO2 output.

He added that governments should instead support "real and significant solutions" to the issue.

The ban was originally proposed for flights four hours and shorter.

French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir had earlier called on lawmakers to retain the four-hour limit.

"On average, the plane emits 77 times more CO2 per passenger than the train on these routes, even though the train is cheaper and the time lost is limited to 40 minutes," it said.