Emissions reduction, Air to Rail

French Energy Sobriety Plan, act II

January 2024

The French Energy Sobriety Plan details the 20 mandatory measures aiming at facilitating the French state’s ecological transition. This means that these measures’ ultimate objective is to reduce demand to accelerate the decarbonise the State’s energy and economy. 

Transport decarbonisation is a key pillar of this plan. Among the measures,  the government asks its staff to take the train instead of the plane for journeys that can be made in less than 4 hours by train as from January 2024.  

The French government explained this measure by stating that  “Air travel is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gasses. A drastic reduction in this mode of travel is therefore necessary to reduce the State’s carbon footprint. To achieve this, we need to promote less carbon-intensive alternatives such as the train, but also by reduction in the total number of trips.”

The State’s sobriety plan has been set out in a circular from the Prime Minister detailing the 20 mandatory sobriety measures within the State. Some of these measure include a 2024 target, aiming at a reduction of 20% of outbound journeys by air compared with 2019. The ambition of this target increases to a reduction of 30% by 2027.  More can be found in the circular under the Measure 5, Action 5

Read more about our recommedations regarding the shift from air to rail HERE

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