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EU climate commissioner wants the end of short-haul flights

EU Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans urges an end to short-haul flights.

Brussels - "We want to get rid of short-haul flights, but not with bans or higher prices," said the Vice-President of the EU Commission to the newspapers of the Funke-Mediengruppe. "We want to organize it in such a way that it becomes more attractive for people to take the train." For distances of less than 600 to 800 kilometers, it should no longer make sense to take the plane - "simply because it takes longer".

Timmermans nevertheless advocated an indirect increase in the cost of flying. "I am in favor of us taxing kerosene like other fuels," he said. An alternative would be to include air traffic more in emissions trading.

"This of course means that flying is becoming more expensive, but if we also offer good and affordable train connections with express trains or night trains, the citizens have no disadvantages." At the same time, the EU Commissioner called on the citizens to reduce the number of their flights. "Nobody has to fly ten or twelve times a year," he said.

"If you treat yourself to a flight once a year, there is no problem at all - neither for the climate nor for your own wallet." Timmermans warned that the ecological renovation should be organized in a socially just manner. This is the only way to keep the support of the population.

"When you have a good income and the energy bills go up a bit, very little changes for people," he said. "But if you don't earn a lot, if you have a small pension, higher energy prices have an uncanny impact on the quality of life." You have to be careful. At the same time, the Vice-President announced to the EU Commission that his legislative proposals for the implementation of the climate targets would be presented later than expected. "We will present our draft - a little later than planned - on July 14th," he said. "Then everything we do will be thoroughly checked."

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