Aviation is the Achilles Heal of Travel & Tourism
Airlines emit 80% of the travel and tourism sector’s greenhouse gasses and air travel is growing at 5% per year. As other industries reduce their carbon emissions aviation will account for ever-larger shares of global emissions. more
There is no guilt-free way to fly.
So what can you do?
- Fly less – take the train if you can, don’t fly if you could make the journey by road or rail
If you must fly….
- Fly direct, point to point – taking off burns a lot of fuel.
- Fly on budget airlines or charters – they carry more people so that the emissions per passenger are lower.
- If you fly long haul try to make the most of it and stay longer
- Fly with only a small amount of luggage, it burns fuel too.
This has been very popular as a way of addressing carbon emissions, particularly from aircraft. It is cheap and enables the aviation industry to continue with business as usual. There are similarities between buying offsets and buying medieval pardons. This video will amuse you
It is good to plant trees and fund clean cookstoves. But doing this does not cancel out your emissions. The urgent need is to reduce emissions, there is no guilt-free way to fly. Off-sets are a “dangerous distraction”. As George Monbiot has said: “Buying and selling carbon offsets is like pushing the food around on your plate to create the impression that you have eaten it.” This is mitigation deterrence. more
“If offsetting is deemed to have equivalence with mitigation, the incentive to move to lower-carbon technologies, behaviours and practices is reduced accordingly.” Read Professor Kevin Anderson on the inconvenient truth of carbon offsets
The European Commission has published a damning study of carbon offsets, finding that 85% of the offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to date failed in the objective of reducing emissions. The report found that the vast majority of the gold standard CDM credits – where a polluter pays others to reduce emissions in order to pollute more itself – failed to deliver “real, measurable and additional” emission reductions, as the projects carried out made false assumptions of alternative scenarios or were likely to have happened anyway. more
Choosing how to travel
BBC Should you fly, drive or take the train?