France has struggled over the last few years to present itself as a global leader in the realm of action against climate change, but as the situation worsens, the French government has decided that more drastic measures need to be taken.
A new law, approved today, will take steps to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% by 2030. Clothing goods will need to be marked with an “ecoscore,” supermarkets will have to reduce packaging waste, and state-run schools will have to offer a meatless option at least one day a week. But perhaps the most noteworthy change is a new ban on domestic flights along routes that can be traversed by train in less than 2.5 hours (unless they connect to international flights). As air travel is the greatest source of global pollution, this rule is significant, though it also points to just how much more we have to do to actually make a dent in our carbon emissions.
Critics on one side see the measures as aggressive, while those on the other side of the aisle believe the law is too little, too late. “The urgency’s really here, we have ten years to really radically change things, and now we’re just continuing to take little steps forward that, in fact, will move us backwards.”