France’s National Assembly approves climate change bill

France’s National Assembly on Tuesday endorsed a new bill aiming at reinforcing acts to enable France to meet the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030.

A total of 332 out of 577 deputies of the lower house of the parliament voted for the bill, while 77, against it.

“With this law we mark a turning point by anchoring ecology in the daily life of French people, leaving no one behind,” Environment Minister Barbara Pompili told lawmakers.

“Rather than big words and huge and unachievable objectives that only generate social resistance, we are putting in place effective measures,” she added.

The bill bans domestic flights under two and half hours that can be done by train unless they connect to an international flight and prohibits the construction of new airports or expanding the capacity of existing airports.

It bans the sale of cars emitting more than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer from 2030 and requests public schools to offer a menu without meat or fish at least one day a week.

It also creates a new criminal offense — “ecocide” for the most serious cases of environmental damage at the national level. Transgressors will be liable to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 4.5 million euros (5.4 million U.S. dollars).