Instead, travel should be organized in a way that “makes the train rides more attractive to people”. Timmermans said that for distances of 600 to 800 kilometers, it no longer made sense to take a plane – “just because it takes longer.”
Flying had to get more and more expensive
Indirectly, he spoke in favor of making flying more expensive: “I am in favor of taxing kerosene like other fuels.” According to the European Union Commissioner, the alternative is to include more air traffic in emissions trading.
Timmermans also pleaded with citizens to reduce the number of their trips: “Nobody has to travel ten or twelve times a year.” Citizens should restrict themselves to one trip a year, then “there will be no problem at all – neither the climate nor your own wallet.”
Green leader opened the debate
The debate about short-haul trips was sparked recently by German Green Chancellor Analina Burbock. And she announced in the newspaper “Bild am Sonntag” that if she moves to the chancellery, she wants to work for the complete abolition of short trips. Burbock said she believes “it is not fair that all of our tax money backs up kerosene, when long-distance train journeys are expensive, especially at peak times.”