France already promotes limiting them in Europe

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Open melon. The French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, has already set himself homework for the return of the summer holidays: to break off one of the most controversial melons of mobility. In statements collected by Le Parisian, the French leader has advocated for the regulation of flights in private jets. So determined it seems that his team has already got down to work and wants to put the issue on the table as soon as the course is reactivated and the Government addresses its “sobriety plan”.

Not only that.

As a measure of this type can have a limited scope if it is restricted to the scope of a single country, Beaune has advanced its intention to put the same melon on the table in Brussels.

What does France want? Well, put an end to what the Gallic minister himself calls “two-speed effort”that Europe’s neighbors and businesses are being required to tighten their energy belts while a wealthy minority take jets for routes that may well be covered by other alternatives, perhaps less comfortable, but certainly less expensive and polluting.

“I think we have to act and regulate private jet flights,” says Beaune. With this purpose, the Executive has been working since July on a plan that will make it easier to address the issue. That he wants to transfer the debate to the community arena, when it comes to mobility, energy and pollution, will not surprise anyone either: “the most effective thing is to act at a European level to have the same rules and more impact”.

And what is your recipe? To know the French recipe in detail, we will have to wait, but Beaune has already revealed some of the possible ingredients. Among the probable details The countrywould include forcing companies to list their jet services, vetoing them if there were alternatives with a lower impact on the environment —with trade routes or rail— or even integrating private aviation into the system of quotas and taxes on CO2 emissions that raises the EU.

The context, essential. To understand the movement of France’s token it is essential to be clear about the context. Beaune’s statements come with the heated debate. In the midst of the race for decarbonisation and a sustainable mobility model, different measures have been proposed in recent months that could reduce the polluting impact of aviation. Now a new backdrop is superimposed on this scenario: the energy crisis facing Europe.

Incentives have been placed on the table for the promotion of more sustainable fuels (SAF), new rates or even veto short flights. France knows what he is talking about. In 2021, it approved a law to restrict, with some exceptions, domestic operations on commercial routes that can be covered in less than two and a half hours by rail. In Spain the sector has already warned of the impact that a similar movement would have on the airport system.

A juicy but not fresh melon. The melon Beaune wants to open is juicy, but far from fresh. The idea of ​​getting a grip on private aviation and regulating its operations has been in the spotlight of public debate for some time now. And of course it is not an isolated occurrence of the Elysee either.

Nearly three years ago, on the campaign trail, UK Labor was exploring the way to veto private jets with fossil fuels in the country’s airports from 2025. A similar debate has been opened, for example in Switzerland and has encouraged Greenpeace. In France itself they encourage it other voices of the public arena, apart from that of the Minister of Transport

I will refer

World distribution of aviation fuel use.

But how much do private jets pollute? Pollution data varies from one study to another, but they tend to have a common denominator: they do not leave private aviation in a good light. Let’s see. Transport and Environment (T&E) calculationswhich look at emissions per passenger and kilometers traveled, point out that private jets emit ten times more than commercial planes: 1,300 gC02/pax per km compared to 128. When compared to trains, the comparison is more pronounced.

Your report —reels The Confidential— points out that, according to the model, some private jets can emit around two tons of CO2 in a single hour of flight. Not bad at all when you consider that the average annual carbon footprint of an EU inhabitant is 8.3 tonnes.

The general picture is completed with the increase in traffic itself: between 2005 and 2019, carbon dioxide emissions from private planes in Europe increased by almost a third, more than the increase registered in the commercial fleets. Over the last few years, the pandemic has been able to distort the data, but COVID-19 does not seem to have deterred of jet use. On the contrary.

More data for discussion. The T&E figures aren’t the only ones showing the impact of jets. It is estimated that commercial aviation is behind 2% of global CO2 emissions. What weight would private aviation have in that percentage? Well, low, just 4%, according to a study published in 2020 in Global Environmental Change. The problem would be the per capita data, the volume of emissions per passenger and especially that generated by the most frequent travelers.

“There is a minority that flies with such a high frequency that they practically monopolize almost all aviation emissions”, point from Greenpeace to Nius. “The climate impact of aviation is disproportionate and growing rapidly. But it is caused by a very small group of people. Only 1% causes 50% of global aviation emissions. emphasizes T&E.

Compared to some 80,000 and 110,000 commercial flights daily, those carried out by private jets would range between 10,000 and 11,500. Of course, with much less passengers on board and often in 500 kilometer journeysprecisely those who are targeted by those who advocate rethinking the connections that can be replaced by less polluting alternatives.

On its way to commercial viability, the electric plane has just set a milestone: 2,000 kilometers of flight

The moral component. Beyond the figures, the debate raised by private aviation has a clear moral component. Beaune himself slips it into his statements to Le Parisian: “I think we have to act and regulate flights in private jets. They are becoming the symbol of a two-speed effort.” Is it fair, after all, that two-hour routes be abolished or the end of combustion cars demanded while there are celebrities taking their jets for short flights?

Over recent years the debate has also been heated by specific examples. Perhaps one of the most controversial and bloody is the one left by some of the authorities who came and left the COP26 in private jets: they took their planes to fly to Glasgow, there they stressed the importance of a change of mentality and, immediately after , got back on their jets to make journeys that, in the case of Von der Leyen, would have been no more than 50km.

A challenge… or an opportunity? COP26 authorities are not the only ones singled out for their use of aviation. Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and other jet-setting celebrities featured in a list published by Yard they have also been in a similar situation not long ago. However, there are those who point out the opportunities that can be hidden behind these repeated uses of private aviation precisely to use it as a lever for change.

The report prepared by the T&E experts points out how this type of user meets two interesting conditions: a high net worth and the use of short flights, an ideal laboratory to encourage and explore new modes of alternative aviation, such as electric.

Images | Yuri G. (Unsplash) Y Global Environmental Change

Open melon. The French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, has already set himself homework for the return of the summer…

Open melon. The French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, has already set himself homework for the return of the summer…

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