Farmers who believe aviation is getting a free pass in the climate debate will be interested in a measure announced by the French government yesterday.

All domestic flights between cities that are less than two and a half hours apart by train will be banned.

There is some logic to this, even from a practical point of view.

Plane journeys can’t be any shorter when the entire airport rigmarole (times two) is added to the flight-time. In addition, central train stations are in the heart of most cities, airports are usually outside the city. You can add the fact that over half of France’s train system is electric and capable of being run without fossil fuels.

It really is not just cows for the French. Ireland may not have many domestic flights, or a functioning national rail network, but this could set a precedent across continental Europe.