First EU city demands cuts to short-haul flights

Barcelona city council has called for short-haul domestic flights from Barcelona airport which can be replaced by train services to be eliminated and for tougher taxation on aviation and maritime polluters as part of a climate emergency plan released yesterday.

Flying from Barcelona to Madrid produces 12 times the pollution of the equivalent rail journey and flights and shipping from the city’s airport and port are responsible for 12.9 million tonnes of CO2 annually, four times as much as the city itself, the council says.

According to Andrew Murphy of the NGO Transport and Environment, Barcelona is the first EU city to call for restrictions on short-haul flights, though the Amsterdam-Brussels air connection was criticised in the Dutch parliament last year.

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