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France introduces “ecocide” offense and bans certain domestic flights

Paris - After months of debate, the French National Assembly passed a legislative package on climate protection. The regulations introduced by the government include a ban on certain domestic flights and the introduction of the new offense "ecocide", which criminalizes willful environmental destruction on a national scale, reports the AFP news agency.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron (En Marche) spoke of an "ecological turning point". According to the information, the 146 points are based on proposals from a “Climate Citizens' Council” that Macron had convened three years ago in response to the yellow vest protests. However, the government did not accept several proposals such as lowering the speed limit on motorways from 130 to 110 kilometers per hour and a climate referendum. Environmental groups accused them of a missed opportunity.

Up to ten years imprisonment for “ecocide” premiums for electric bikes
The law prohibits all domestic flights if there is an alternative train connection of a maximum of two and a half hours on the route. Connecting flights and international connections are excluded. People convicted of “ecocide” face up to ten years imprisonment and fines of up to 4.5 million euros. According to the report, the offense includes, for example, deliberate pollution of rivers or the air.

In addition to penalties and bans, the legislative package also provides for subsidies. For example, there should be bonuses when buying electric bicycles. In addition, a weekly veggie menu is provided for canteens. With the requirements, the government wants to achieve that the greenhouse gas emissions in France by 2030 is decreased by 40 percent compared to 1990. At the beginning of July, the French Supreme Administrative Court set a deadline for the state to take the necessary measures. Several environmental protection organizations had sued.

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