French authorities have banned internal flights that take less than two-and-a half hours. This ban is expected to reduce the number of flights by 12 percent.
By UK standards, the ruling -which forms part of a wider package of environmental measures unveiled last year – seems wildly ambitious but the French national assembly had faced calls to introduce even stricter rules. France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate, which includes 150 members of the public, had called for an end flights where train journeys of under four hours existed.
This is the first major economy to ban domestic air travel for environmental reasons. France’s European neighbours will be affected by this decision. After all, more than half a billion people traveled between London and Manchester every year prior to the pandemic. It takes approximately two hours by train.
Why is domestic flying so damaging to the environment?
Air travel is the single most harmful habit that we have that has not been stopped. It’s a problem compounded by the fact that aviation is subsidised. This situation is getting worse.
The aviation sector was responsible for 1.5 percent of Europe’s 1990 emissions, but it had grown to 4.5 percent by 2015. Its total emissions grew by 8 per cent in 2016. It is compounded by the lack of policy measures to limit the sector’s incredible increase in emissions, despite all the talk about efficiency gains and operational improvements.
Every flight we take is harmful to the environment. Domestic air travel is the worst. The take-off and landing of aircraft are responsible for a large portion of the environmental pollution. The result is that each passenger on a domestic flight produces approximately 1.2 gallons of carbon dioxide per kilometre. 70% more than long-haul flightsThe equivalent rail journey is six times more expensive.
The UK’s government and airline industry are constantly talking about alternative fuels and electric aircraft. However, neither of these measures should be taken lightly.
Although the French ban on internal flight is not perfect, it is a simplified version of what was originally proposed. It is nevertheless important because it shows that we cannot address the climate emergency without limiting our travel habits. Unnecessary domestic flights can be a good first step.
Alternative to long-haul flight
Long-haul flights account for 750,000,000 tons of CO2Each year, a lot of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. There is no way to reduce this.
VoyageVertWants to offer fast sailing vessels as stepping stones between continents, so that travellers don’t have to fly or use fossil energy powered vessels. The team hopes to have a transatlantic passenger service in place by 2020. The ubiquitous fly/drive holiday may be challenged by a more sustainable alternative. Are you a sail/cycle traveler?
The ethical choice
The ETA was established as an ethical provider and reliable travel service provider in 1990. We continue to offer bike insurance (covers cargo bikes), break cover, and mobility scooter insurance, while also taking care of the environment.
The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.