1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

airplane

(Suhyeon Choi, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


The youth activist Greta Thunberg has made a splash by sailing across the Atlantic on a yacht to a UN climate summit in order to avoid the carbon emissions of a flight. While few of us would endure 15 days on the high seas, it seems her stance is striking a chord – especially with the young.

Across the world, one in seven say they will shun flying even if it means using more expensive and less convenient alternatives, according to a new survey.

Conducted by research firm Ipsos for the Forum, the report finds a further 29% of people would switch to alternative transport options if they cost the same as flying and were as convenient. The strongest support for switching to low-carbon alternatives comes from frequent fliers.

The survey is released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit, which will push for action on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

A new generation of non-fliers

Younger people, aged under 35, and those with a university education express the strongest support for finding an alternative to flying. In China, nearly two-thirds of people say they would avoid flying even if the alternative were less convenient or more expensive.

People in South Korea, India, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and South Africa also show strong support for using other forms of transport, although fewer than in China would be willing to make the switch regardless of cost and inconvenience.

Image: Ipsos/World Economic Forum

The survey holds mixed news for airlines when it comes to public perception of their commitment to reduce their environmental impact. Just under a third of people have a great deal or fair amount of trust that the industry will cut its carbon emissions.

Half of all Saudi Arabians express a great deal of faith in the environmental commitment of airlines, a far higher proportion than any other nation. Three-quarters also have a great deal or fair amount of trust that airlines will back their promises with actions.

Trust in airlines to implement change is lowest in Japan and South Korea, while nearly half of adults in South Korea, Germany, France and Spain have very little or no trust in the industry’s ability to change.

Industry pledge

Image: Aviation Benefits

Aviation contributes $2.7 trillion to the global economy, shipping about 62 trillion tonnes of freight, carrying more than 4 billion passengers and supporting more than 65 million jobs last year.

The airline industry has pledged to cap its CO2 emissions from 2020 and it says that by 2050 aviation emissions will be half the level they were in 2005.

Aviation currently accounts for 2% of global emissions. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, launched in 2016, aims to offset 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2 between 2021 and 2035. Airlines are already trialling renewable jet fuels which could arguably reduce emissions by as much as 80%.

“Improvements in efficiencies, on the ground and in the air, have already contributed significantly to reducing emissions in flying,” says Lauren Uppink, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries at the World Economic Forum.

“Technology innovations, even electric propulsion, are resulting in cleaner aircraft. But we believe the real game changer is sustainable aviation fuels. They work, but are not currently produced or used at scale, and are far more expensive than traditional jet fuels. Driving down the costs of these fuels is where the collective innovative efforts of the entire value chain is needed.”

Image: Ipsos/World Economic Forum

IATA, the industry body, says new-generation aircraft are 20% more fuel-efficient than the models they replace. Over the next decade airlines will invest $1.3 trillion in new aircraft, including new electric commuter planes now being developed.

The Sustainable Development Impact Summit will engage academics and leaders from businesses, governments and NGOs to collaborate and address the world’s most pressing problems.

Accelerating climate action to cap global warming at 1.5°C will be high on the agenda.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

The good news on pensions: sustainable equals profitable

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

Anxious gorillas, thirsty koalas and lame cows – how climate change is making animals miserable

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Could entrepreneurship be the real cure against the side effects of Brexit?

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more integrated Europe

ECOFIN: Choosing between the re-unification of Eurozone and a stalemate

India’s agro-food sector has made strong progress, but a new policy approach is needed to meet future challenges, says new report by OECD and ICRIER

Syria: Ease suffering, save lives, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator tells Security Council

You’ve heard of 5G, but what about the quantum internet?

A Sting Exclusive: Young people are right about climate change; it’s time to listen

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

‘Alarmingly high’ number of children malnourished worldwide: UNICEF report

Eliminating waste at scale – eight opportunities for blockchain

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

Here’s a reason to feel cheerful – the world is full of Good Samaritans

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

Friday’s Daily Brief: UN chief in China, counter-terrorism, updates from Bangladesh, Mali and Mozambique

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

Russia accepts what the EU has to offer and settles to negotiate with Ukraine

Working together to end the AIDS-HIV pandemic

Impressions of China

Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast: sustained but less dynamic growth amid high uncertainty

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

More urgency needed to help increasing numbers ‘locked out’, before 2030, says UN’s Bachelet

Gaza: deadly violence continues to escalate, top UN officials work to restore calm

Colombia: New Congress marks rebel group’s transition ‘from weapons to politics’, says UN

The ‘abuse of food relief in Yemen’ must end now

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Glasgow and Edinburgh race to become the UK’s first net-zero emissions city

Environment and health at increasing risk from growing weight of ‘e-waste’

Greek citizens to pay the price again but Tsipras risks losing next elections

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

New seat projections for the next European Parliament

There is a way for Eurozone to reach a sustainable growth path

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

In DR Congo, UN Security Council says December polls are ‘historic opportunity’ for country

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

Nearly two million Cameroonians face humanitarian emergency: UNICEF

Election 2019: New, Updated seat projection for new Parliament

The Middle East needs a technological revolution. Start-ups can lead the way

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Is the world living up to its climate commitments?

Inflation keeps falling in Eurozone

MWC 2016 LIVE: Orange targets VoLTE and Voice over Wi-Fi; strikes Google partnership

Humanitarian visas would reduce refugees’ death toll

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

Trade, taxes and other takeaways from Li Keqiang’s speech to the World Economic Forum

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during World News Media Congress 2019

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] with a lower co2 footprint than aviation even if were costlier and less convenient. (In China, the figure was nearly two thirds of those surveyed.) If the alternative forms of transport are as convenient as, and no more […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s