France will discuss with its European Union partners on how to control private jet emissions after the arrivals and departures of French billionaires on the fuel-guzzling flights sparked a political uproar this summer.

While an outright ban is not on the table, government spokesperson Olivier Veran stated on Tuesday that regulating private jets would send the message that the same standards apply to all at a time when the government is encouraging more “sober” energy usage habits.

Several Twitter accounts tracking French billionaires’ private jet trips have lately appeared, prompting a public outrage over the wealthy’s private aircraft emissions while common people are advised to conserve energy.

The popular “I Fly Bernard” account follows the movements of a jet owned by Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH (LVMH.PA) and one of the world’s wealthiest men.

“Private jets have a symbolic value,” Veran said on France Inter.

“One can understand that French people who cut their energy consumption can be hurt when some of his fellow citizens use a private jet to hop around from place to place even though in most cases private jets are used for business,” he said.

According to Veran, this is why Transport Minister Clement Beaune requested that EU ministers look into “ways to compensate Co2 emissions” from private jet trips.

Beaune told Le Parisien over the weekend that it will be more effective to act on the subject at the European level “to have the same rules and the most impact”.

The EU Transport Ministers will meet next month.

Julien Bayou, the chairman of the French Green Party, who supports an absolute ban, told RMC radio on Tuesday: “One cannot tolerate that some people burn with a few flights 50 years in the (energy) consumption of an average French person”.

Source: Reuters

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