France pumps billions of euros into low-emission planes

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France pumps billions of euros into low-emission planes

France is pumping hundreds of millions of euros into developing low-emission aircraft, engines and aviation fuel in the coming years, Macron said.

Paris will devote €300 million to aircraft and motor research, Macron said during a visit to jet engine maker Safran just outside the capital.

Public and private cash would also be funnelled to developing small electric or hydrogen-powered aircraft and renewable fuels, including a biofuel plant for southwest France.

We French must be the champions of extremely-green planes, and it is in our power to do it, he said.

Safran, Airbus and Dassault are among the top companies in France's economy, and it is a key sector.

The industry was employing 691,000 people in per cent of France's industrial workforce, with annual incomes of €186 billion, according to the country's national statistics agency Insee.

The COVID-19- enforced slump has resurfaced, with global passengers numbers set to match 2019's figure of 4.5 billion.

By 2042, Airbus, which accounts for around half of global airliner sales, expects the global plane fleet to double to around 46,000 by 2042.

The French and European industry faces fierce competition from the United States and China in the battle for eco-friendly options.

The stakes are high, with up to 4 percent of global greenhouse emissions coming from air transport.

Low-emission planes were not welcomed by all, but the extra money for low-emission flights was unwelcomed.

The zero-emission plane doesn't exist, leading French Greens député Sandrine Rousseau told Franceinfo radio before Macron spoke. Instead, she said, we should immediately take measures like reducing the number of trips by plane.

France has recently banned short domestic flights on routes that could be covered by high-speed rail in less than two-and-a-half hours.