Swedish flygskam (or flight shame) is spreading across Europe – Finland, Germany … Brits yet to catch on….

Fears about climate change have led many to rethink the way they travel and, in Sweden, there is a new word – flygskam (flying shame) – for the shame associated with flying, knowing the carbon emissions it causes. The subject has come higher up the agenda with the vast protests in Central London by Extinction Rebellion, since Monday 15th April.  And there are protests in many other cities and countries. The Swedes are now travelling a bit less by air, and a bit more by rail. But it’s not just the Swedes racked with guilt about their carbon footprints. The Finnish have invented the word “lentohapea”, the Dutch say “vliegschaamte” and the Germans “flugscham”, all referring to a feeling of shame around flying.  Brits are lagging behind … The Swedish rail company reported 32 million passengers in 2018, a good increase. Many understand that flying has a huge negative climate impact, and there are other words associated with this: “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga” (flying in secret). The 16 year old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, started the world wide movement of school strikes, to draw attention to climate change, only travels by train to meetings in other countries.
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How flygskam (or flight shame) is spreading across Europe

Fears over climate change have led many to rethink the way they travel and, in Sweden, they’ve even invented a new word for the shame associated with flying

By  JULIANA PISKORZ 

Climate change and travel have been on the lips of most Londoners this week thanks to the Extinction Rebellion protest group currently camped out in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square.

In order to escalate the protest Extinction Rebellion announced plans to disrupt London’s rail and tube lines today, a move which Sadiq Khan said in a Twitter statement would “damage the cause for all of us who want to tackle climate change.”

The Swedes meanwhile have wholeheartedly embraced their rail network. SJ, Sweden’s national rail service, reported a record 32 million customers last year. The company attributes “the big interest in climate-smart travel” to its unprecedented growth.

16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. (REUTERS)

Flying, on the other hand, has become almost taboo as a result of its negative impact on the environment. And, in typical Scandinavian style (see hygge, lagom etc), they have created a roster of new words to describe this antipathy: “flygskam” (flying shame), “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga” (flying in secret).

The move away from air travel was spearheaded by teen activist Greta Thunberg, who single-handedly kicked off the student climate strikes after boycotting school once a week to raise awareness for climate change. Thunberg refuses to fly and travelled by train to the World Economic Forum in Davos and the climate summit in Poland, while 1500 delegates flew in by private jet.

Swedavia AB, which operates 10 Swedish airports including the ones in Stockholm and Gothenburg, has seen year-on-year passenger numbers drop for seven consecutive months. In 2018 the company reported its weakest overall passenger growth in a decade.

As ever, social media is playing a substantial part in turning the tide of opinion against air travel. One anonymous Swedish Instagram account has amassed more than 60,000 followers for shaming influencers promoting trips to far-flung destinations and the hash tag #StayOnTheGround has been trending on twitter.

But it’s not just the Swedes racked with guilt about their carbon footprints. The Finnish have invented the word “lentohapea”, the Dutch say “vliegschaamte” and the Germans “flugscham”, all referring to a feeling of shame around flying.

In contrast, in the UK, plans continue for a third runway at Heathrow despite the airport already being the biggest single source of CO2 emissions in the UK and claims that a third runway would cause aviation emissions to rise by 4.9 million tonnes by 2030.

https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/flight-shame-europe-sweden-a4120231.html

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Climate Change Shame Has Swedes Abandoning Planes and Taking Trains

By  Hanna Hoikkala and Niklas Magnusson,

Bloomberg

Apr 14, 2019

Take Is airline passenger behaviour in Sweden, where the numbers have been dropping, an outlier, or a sign of things to come? What is certainly true is this is a signal to airlines to get their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints in high gear.

In the country that gave the world teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, shame connected with traveling on airplanes that guzzle fossil fuels may now be having a real impact on travel patterns.

Swedavia AB, which operates 10 Swedish airports including the ones outside Stockholm and Gothenburg, has seen year-on-year passenger numbers drop for seven consecutive months. Last year, Sweden had its weakest overall growth in passenger numbers in a decade.

At the same time, passenger numbers at state train operator SJ jumped to a record 32 million last year due to “the big interest in climate-smart travel.”

The phenomenon, known as “flying shame,” is putting pressure on airlines to up efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

SAS AB’s Scandinavian Airlines is taking a series of measures, including replacing older airplane models with more fuel-efficient ones, and seeking to use more biofuel.

The carrier that’s partly owned by the Swedish and Danish governments is also switching heavy seating for lighter and asking customers to pre-book food. Those steps will reduce the weight of its planes and thereby cut fuel consumption. In addition, it seeks to offset the emissions from flights made by its Eurobonus club members by investing in energy projects that generate a compensation equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted.

In the past decade, SAS has overhauled one of Europe’s least-efficient aircraft fleets. It phased out fuel-thirsty McDonnell Douglas MD-80 planes and placed orders for Airbus SE’s latest A320neo-series narrow-body as well as the twin-aisle A350-900, which is due to join the fleet this year.

For SAS Chief Executive Officer Rickard Gustafson, the matter is existential. Unless society — and airlines — address climate change, the world as we know it may cease to exist. But as airlines are an integral part of the globalized world we live in, he doesn’t believe the answer is to stop flying. Instead, airlines must take measures to cut pollution and become more sustainable until the day comes when there are engines that don’t rely on fossil fuels.

“Airlines, like other infrastructure, are needed in order for us to have the societies we want, with growth, transparency, openness, clarity and tolerance,” he said in an interview at SAS’s headquarters in Stockholm. “It’s important that people can continue to meet and that the world can continue to travel. But we can’t continue to just travel without adjusting to a sustainable way.”

The issue is rising on the agenda of airlines as customers become more and more climate conscious, particularly in Sweden.

ASHAMED TO FLY

Flying shame, where people feel ashamed to use any mode of transport that uses fossil fuel, is on the rise in Sweden. According to a survey by the World Wildlife Fund, 23 percent of Swedes have abstained from traveling by air in the past year to reduce their climate impact, up 6 percentage points from a year earlier. Some 18 percent have chosen to travel by train rather than air.

A separate recent survey by Swedish Radio showed that the climate is the most important political topic for young people today. That development coincides with Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s movement, where thousands of pupils across the world regularly hold protests to try to force political leaders to take action on the environment. Thunberg travels by train whenever she appears at events in Europe.

In addition to “flygskam” (flying shame), Swedes have adapted to new words describing the shift, including “tagskryt” (train bragging) and “smygflyga,” or fly in secret.

Even Swedavia, the airport operator, seems to be feeling the pressure. In its past two monthly reports on passenger numbers, it included comments on how it is working to become more sustainable. That includes increasing the use of biofuel at its airports and making sure that all Swedavia airports produce zero fossil CO2 emissions from their own operations by 2020.

FALLING NUMBERS

According to Swedavia, the climate debate is one reason behind its falling passenger numbers, along with factors such as concerns about the Swedish stock and housing markets, a weak Swedish krona, and geopolitical uncertainties. The impact is evident especially on domestic travel, which dropped 3 percent last year.

 

[Then it goes on with unrealistic stuff on biofuels….]

For SAS, one of the key measures is to use more biofuel, which unlike fossil fuel has been produced through current biological processes rather than geological processes. Such fuel is considered carbon neutral, as the CO2 absorbed by the plants used to produce it is equal to the gas that’s released when the fuel is burned.

But there is a problem — there just isn’t enough biofuel around. To help solve the supply issue, SAS has teamed up with refinery Preem to increase production of biofuel in Sweden as it seeks to use biofuel corresponding to all its domestic fuel consumption by 2030. That’s part of a broader plan to cut total carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared to the base year 2005. There is also a cost involved, as biofuel is more expensive than fossil fuel.

Given that passengers appear to becoming more and more climate conscious, airlines may have no choice but to make that switch. They could even become a selling point.

“The journey toward a fossil-free footprint will be long, but I’m a technology optimist,” Gustafson said. “One day a scientist will figure out how to replace the current jet engine, and I think those planes will become available to all of us in, say, 20 years’ time.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Hanna Hoikkala and Niklas Magnusson from Bloomberg

https://skift.com/2019/04/14/climate-change-shame-has-swedes-abandoning-planes-and-taking-trains/

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See earlier:

 

The concept of “flying shame” is growing in Sweden – shame if you fly too much – due to the CO2 emissions

Many Northern Europeans have “flying shame” because of the climate: they stay on the ground while traveling. Rail travel is becoming increasingly popular. Some people in Sweden are cutting down on flying, and believe the carbon emissions are a matter of shame. The word for it is “flugsham” or “flygskam” and this is becoming a common concept, akin to ‘flying less” in English. A celebrity athlete is well know for only travelling to sporting events if he can get there by train. The Swedes are among the frequent flyers. They fly 7 times more than average global citizens.  While Sweden’s total CO2 emissions have fallen by 24% since 1990, air traffic grew by 61% in that time. A prominent writer in a popular newspaper  denounced the “idiotic lifestyle” of frequent flying as the “most expensive suicide in world history”. Researchers and artists responded: “Flying is no longer an alternative for them”.  People realise that we cannot go on with expanding aviation. A Facebook page on travelling by long-distance rail, rather than flying, had 30,000 followers in a few months. As well as the hashtag #flyingless there is the Swedish counterpart in #jagstannarpåmarken: “I’ll stay on the ground”. 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/11/the-concept-of-flying-shame-is-growing-in-sweden-shame-if-you-fly-too-much-due-to-the-co2-emissions/

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“Be the change you want to see”: How individuals (not only governments) are vital in cutting global CO2 emissions

What can we do in the face of the climate emergency? Many say we should drive less, fly less, eat less meat. But others argue that personal actions like this are a pointless drop in the ocean when set against the huge systemic changes that are required to prevent devastating global warming.  Research from a PhD researcher into Environmental Leadership (Cardiff University) shows that doing something bold like giving up flying can have a wider knock-on effect – by influencing others and shifting what’s viewed as “normal”.  These effects were increased if a high-profile person had given up flying, such as someone in the public eye.  Far from the small actions by individuals having no impact, they are important. The role of people, in changing their lifestyles, cutting their carbon emissions and environmental footprint, is as big as that of governments or major corporations.  But significant lifestyle changes by individuals need to be encouraged by effective government policy. It has to be both – policies, government action etc  PLUS actions by individuals. Millions of them. Behavioural change has the potential for far greater emission reductions than the political pledges made under the Paris Accord.

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Climate change: yes, your individual action does make a difference

Author

What can we do in the face of the climate emergency? Many say we should drive less, fly less, eat less meat. But others argue that personal actions like this are a pointless drop in the ocean when set against the huge systemic changes that are required to prevent devastating global warming.

It’s a debate that has been raging for decades. Clearly, in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions, a single person’s contribution is basically irrelevant (much like a single vote in an election). But my research, first in my masters and now as part of my PhD, has found that doing something bold like giving up flying can have a wider knock-on effect by influencing others and shifting what’s viewed as “normal”.

In a survey I conducted, half of the respondents who knew someone who has given up flying because of climate change said they fly less because of this example. That alone seemed pretty impressive to me. Furthermore, around three quarters said it had changed their attitudes towards flying and climate change in some way. These effects were increased if a high-profile person had given up flying, such as an academic or someone in the public eye. In this case, around two thirds said they fly less because of this person, and only 7% said it has not affected their attitudes.

I wondered if these impressionable people were already behaving like squeaky-clean environmentalists, but the figures suggested not. The survey respondents fly considerably more than average, meaning they have plenty of potential to fly less because of someone else’s example.

To explore people’s reasoning, I interviewed some of those who had been influenced by a “non-flyer”. They explained that the bold and unusual position to give up flying had: conveyed the seriousness of climate change and flying’s contribution to it; crystallised the link between values and actions; and even reduced feelings of isolation that flying less was a valid and sensible response to climate change. They said that “commitment” and “expertise” were the most influential qualities of the person who had stopped flying.

Letting fly

It’s not all a bed of roses, of course. Flying represents freedom, fun and progress. It boosts the economy and can provide precious travel opportunities. So suggesting that everyone should fly less, which may seem the implicit message of someone who gives up flying because of climate change, can lead to arguments and confrontation. One person for example said that my gently worded survey was “fascist and misinformed”. You don’t get that when you ask about washing-up liquid.

My research also probed ideas of inconsistency and hypocrisy. In short, people hate it. If Barack Obama takes a private jet and has a 14-vehicle entourage to get to a climate change conference, or a celebrity weeps for the climate while rocking a huge carbon footprint, it doesn’t go down well. And if future laws are introduced to reduce flying because of climate change, it looks essential that politicians will have to visibly reduce their flying habits, too. Other research has shown that calls for emissions reductions from climate scientists are much more credible if they themselves walk the talk.

Kevin Anderson@KevinClimate

At a meeting of academics on a research project into sustainable energy. Opening chat – “just flew in from Vienna & taxi from the airport – taxi booked for 4, as got to be back tonight” – no doubt they’ll make a wonderful & insightful contribution. Sadly half academics flew in!

57 people are talking about this

That people are influenced by others is hardly a shocking result. Psychology researchers have spent decades amassing evidence about the powerful effects of social influence, while cultural evolution theory suggests we may have evolved to follow the example of those in prestigious positions because it helped us survive. Pick up any book on leadership in an airport shopping mall and it will likely trumpet the importance of leading by example.

Which raises the question: if our political and business leaders are serious about climate change, shouldn’t they be very visibly reducing their own carbon footprints to set an example to the rest of us? This is now the focus of my research.

But why me?

Global emissions inequality. Oxfam

Weaving an invisible thread through all of the above is the thorny issue of fairness and inequality. The wealthiest 10% of the global population are responsible for 50% of emissions, and plenty of that will be due to flying. In the UK, around 15% of people take 70% of the flights, while half of the population don’t fly at all in any one year. As emissions from aviation become an ever increasing slice of the total (currently around 9% in the UK, 2% globally) this inequality will become harder for everyone to ignore.

In the mean time, the debate about personal vs. collective action will continue. My research supports the arguments that this is a false dichotomy: individual action is part of the collective. So, while you won’t save the world on your own, you might be part of the solution.

https://theconversation.com/climate-change-yes-your-individual-action-does-make-a-difference-115169

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Be the change you want to see in the world: How individuals can help save the planet from climate catastrophe

1st April 2019

Be the change you want to see in the world

How energy use demands change through different milestones in life. Credit: HOPE Project

Individuals have as big a role to play in tackling climate change as major corporations but only if they can be encouraged to make significant lifestyle changes by effective government policy, a major new European study co-authored by a University of Sussex academic has found.

The study notes that voluntary lifestyle choices by well-meaning individuals would only achieve around half the required emission reductions needed to hit the 1.5 C Paris Agreement goal. But the authors suggest that Paris targets could be achieved if voluntary choices were combined with policies that target behavioural change, particularly around eating meat and using fewer cars and airplanes.

The study’s authors say the international climate policy debate has so far focused mainly on technology and economic incentives, relegating behaviour change to a voluntary add-on. This is despite the fact behavioural change has the potential for far greater than the political pledges made under the Paris Accord.

The study, written by academics from 11 institutions including the University of Sussex, investigated the preferences for reducing household emissions, responsible for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It involved hundreds of families in four European cities using a specially-designed simulation tool to indicate carbon and money savings from 65 lifestyle choices combined with in-depth surveys with household members.

It found  for policy initiatives that encouraged more  around food production but resistance to initiatives that restricted personal mobility and transport options. The study also found that ironically the areas where greatest lifestyle changes were required and the largest carbon footprints produced, such as aviation and changes to diet, had received the lowest policy attention to date.

Lead author Ghislain Dubois, founder of the TEC Conseil in France, said: “Our research proves that if supported by adequate policies, households can have a decisive contribution to the Paris agreement objectives. This is largely ignored by current climate policies and negotiations, which rely only on macro-economics and technology. We should dare envisaging and doing research on taboos like consumption reduction or sobriety. When you consider the impacts on CO2 emissions, but also on households’ budgets and the potential co-benefits, it is worth it.”

Professor Benjamin Sovacool, second author of the study and Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, added: “Our study underscores the contradictions we all have in balancing climate change with other priorities. We want to fight climate change, but stick to eating meat and driving our cars. There are certain changes we can make voluntarily but beyond that we need policy to step in.”

The study, published in the upcoming June edition of Energy Research and Social Science, found that the greater the potential actions have to reduce emissions, the less households were willing to implement them. In these areas “forced” solutions such as a considerably higher carbon tax on fuel and regulations encouraging food producers to reduce packaging or increase local and organic farming in addition to voluntary measures will be needed, the academics warn.

Carlo Aall, co-author of the study from the Western Norway Research Institute, said: “There is political room for taking a tougher stand on supporting economically and regulating household consumption to become more climate friendly. Meat consumption and long air trips in particular need to be addressed.”

Alina Herrmann, co-author from the Heidelberg Institute for Global Health said: “Strikingly, people were very open to climate friendly solutions in the food and recycling sector. We have found strong support for less packaged food, more sustainable food production and moderate reduction of meat consumption in our study population. Many participants even wished for external support to make such sustainable choices easier for them.”

However, in areas such as mobility, the authors recommend limiting the availability of greenhouse gas-intensive consumption through regulative instruments such bans, restrictions or increased taxes; balanced with making low-carbon alternatives more readily available.

Dr. Hermann added: “Changing mobility behaviour was seen as incredibly difficult. To gain acceptance for reduced mobility as part of societal transformation in the face of , and entirely new public discourse would be needed.”

Responses from the study revealed household carbon footprints are not static but can fluctuate significantly with major life events such as having children, experiencing illness or retiring.

The authors recommend that targeted interventions at these milestones could be highly effective in bringing about long-lasting change and suggested that intermediaries at these milestones, such as estate agents, car sales staff and retirement planners, could all play a much more active role in identifying carbon-reducing options.

https://phys.org/news/2019-04-world-individuals-planet-climate-catastrophe.html

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Because the adults of today have ignored the climate crisis, today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints

Children born today will have to live their lives with drastically smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents if climate change is to be controlled. Previous and existing generations have emitted nearly all the CO2 to get the world to 1.5C or 2C, so future generations will have to severely and rapidly cut the emissions from flying, meat consumption, heating, hot water and other activities in their lifetimes. An analysis has shown this means the new generation will have lifetime carbon budgets almost 90% lower than someone born before 1950. The figures suggest 734 tonnes CO2 is the lifetime budget for limiting global warming to 1.5C for someone born in 1957; 405 tonnes if born in 1987; 86 tonnes if born in 2017. This dramatically highlights the burden inherited by today’s children, an issue at the heart of the global school strikes for climate. A spokesman for the UK Student Climate Network said: “Those in positions of power – from politicians to business leaders – that have benefited from a much higher lifetime carbon budget [and all those flights] have a duty to act to ensure a liveable planet for current and future generations. Without appropriate action, those in power are sacrificing our tomorrow for their today.”
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Climate crisis: today’s children face lives with tiny carbon footprints

Next generation must keep their own carbon levels at a fraction of their grandparents’ in order to prevent catastrophe

Children born today will have to live their lives with drastically smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents if climate change is to be controlled.

Fast, deep cuts in global emissions from energy, transport and food are needed to keep temperature rises in check and an analysis has shown this means the new generation will have lifetime carbon budgets almost 90% lower than someone born in 1950.

The data dramatically highlighted the burden inherited by today’s children, an issue at the heart of the global school strikes for climate. Another major strike will take place in more than 70 nations on Friday.

The new analysis by the climate analysts Carbon Briefcombines data on emissions and population changes with climate models. It then calculates how much the average citizen on Earth can emit over their lifetime to keep temperature rises below 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels, the goal of the world’s nations to avoid climate catastrophe.

Previous and existing generations have emitted nearly all the carbon dioxide needed to take the world to 1.5C or 2C, meaning future generations will have to severely cut the emissions from flying, meat consumption and other activities in their lifetimes. The children and young people taking part in the youth strikes (born 1997-2012) will have carbon budgets just one sixth those of their baby boomer grandparents (1946-1964).

“As protests by school children increase each week around the world, our analysis starkly highlights the intergenerational injustice of climate change,” said Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief. “If warming is to be limited to safe levels, today’s children are going to have to greatly curtail their own lifetime emissions compared to older generations.”

The idea for the analysis came from Ben Caldecott, at the University of Oxford’s Sustainable Finance Programme. He said it is the first systematic use of emissions data to inform the debate about intergenerational responsibility for climate change and had produced some “uncomfortable numbers”.

“The purpose is not to fan the flames of rising intergenerational angst, but rather to provide some objective analysis to support dialogue between generations within countries and across them so we can tackle climate change,” he said. “The results will feed into intergenerational equity debates, for example in terms of access to housing, the availability of pensions, rising university tuition fees, changing retirement ages.”

There is a currently a wide gap between the average annual emissions of a US citizen (16.9 tonnes) and an Indian citizen (1.9 tonnes). The analysis showing that children born now would have a lifetime carbon budget 90% lower than their grandparents assumes the relative gap would remain.

But in a second analysis, Carbon Brief posited a future carbon budget that would be the same for every citizen on the planet. This would mean that the budget for a child born today in the US is even lower, 97% lower than that of that of their grandparents. For someone born today in Europe, their budget would be 94% lower.

“That those born today only have a carbon budget a fraction of the size of those from previous generations exemplifies the need for a transformative approach that puts social and economic justice at the heart of plans to tackle the climate crisis,” said Woodier. “We need massive investment in people and planet to transform our economies, and we need it urgently.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/10/climate-crisis-todays-children-face-lives-with-tiny-carbon-footprints?CMP=share_btn_tw

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“Flight Free” blog – “Why we stopped carbon-offsetting our flying, and then stopped flying”

New campaign “Flight Free” is asking people to sign up and pledge not to fly in 2020 (or ideally not in this year either ….) We need people to choose to cut their flying voluntarily, because government is never going to introduce measures to cut demand for air travel – it would risk displeasing too many voters. The Flight Free website has blogs by people who have pledged not to fly, or have already given up flying. One comments on their past flying: “…going on adventures to the other side of the world was one of our treats. We thought we’d earned it. We felt like responsible tourists, keen to explore local cultures and wildlife. Happy to tip local guides and to buy hand crafted items direct from local artisans …”.  And then “We started carbon offsetting our flying. Planting trees that would absorb our CO2 and pump out oxygen in the process. It was a win, win.  We felt better for a year or two. In effect we had thrown money at the problem but we hadn’t gone through any radical change of behaviour and we were still enjoying the same experiences, from wildlife safaris to snorkelling with turtles”. Then they gave up flying:  “This is a Climate Emergency and we need to change our behaviour individually and collectively now.”
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“Why we stopped carbon-offsetting our flying”

Eco-designer and doctor Linda Thomas explains why carbon offsetting turned out not to be the answer in the quest for a low-carbon life

Blog for by Linda Thomas
2nd April 2019  (Flight Free website)
It’s been a journey. When we fell in love, we both worked hard in ‘caring’ professions, and going on adventures to the other side of the world was one of our treats. We thought we’d earned it. We felt like responsible tourists, keen to explore local cultures and wildlife. Happy to tip local guides and to buy hand crafted items direct from local artisans without unscrupulous bargaining.

Then the magazine arrived. An article in ‘The Ecologist’ about the impact of flying. How could flying be so bad and we hadn’t realised it? We couldn’t look the other way. So what did we do? We started carbon offsetting our flying. Planting trees that would absorb our CO2 and pump out oxygen in the process. It was a win, win.

We felt better for a year or two. In effect we had thrown money at the problem but we hadn’t gone through any radical change of behaviour and we were still enjoying the same experiences, from wildlife safaris to snorkelling with turtles. At one point, we had even been swimming around a reef that was 90% bleached coral and we made no connection with our own actions and what was happening in the oceans. I remember one friend (who flies more than us) commenting on how we always seem like we’re going on honeymoon as we visited places that many newly weds go. They were incredible. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t flying all the time – usually once a year.

Then we read something else: one return long haul flight could undo all the CO2 saved by someone living off grid for a whole year. We talked about it, as we still do (but now with our son too). We didn’t feel OK about flying anymore. Trees take a long time to grow. This climate issue was urgent and we were banking on trees letting our emissions off the hook over the next 100 years, and they might not even last that long. So we decided we would stop flying altogether. That was over 13 years ago. Honestly, we really missed it for the first few years and then again when our son turned out to adore wildlife so much. We felt mean that we had experienced things that we were not letting him do. However, he has never asked us to take him on that flight. He sees what is going on and he doesn’t want to fly. He would love to go on safari but thank goodness he hasn’t got the all too common mentality of “I’d like to see this lovely animal/place/culture before we make it extinct”.

The adventures didn’t stop. We love exploring locally and have had close encounters with wildlife near to our home as varied as wild boar, deer, many species of bird as well as dolphin and seals. We typically travel to Europe by train once a year and we have had numerous incredible experiences with octopus and beautiful fish as well as owls, reptiles, birds and bats. All with really low tech equipment: good walking shoes/sandals and a snorkel. We have also travelled by train with our inflatable stand up paddleboards which was a new way to explore the coastline. We enjoy our train journeys, usually incorporating a city stay en route in Paris or Barcelona, and having a sense of where we really are in the world. The journey is part of the holiday.

We have also given up work flying too. This was not such a big deal for us compared with many people, but it still matters. Giving up flying for work has a double impact and a triple impact if you also have a high profile. In the words of Professor Julia Steinberger our “ripple effect” is even more important than our personal impact. If we stop flying and inform others why we are doing so then we can bring about more change than just changing our own behaviour. When you offer alternatives or turn down something altogether because of flying, by its very nature you are then causing another organisation to think about flying and their business. This might be fleeting or it might be a game changer, so never doubt that saying no to one flight can have an impact.

There are three important questions to ask yourself:

1. Do I believe climate change is real?

2. Do I want to respond to it?

3. Am I prepared to stop flying?

If the answer is yes, then educate yourself so that you really know why you are making this change, it will really help. Then look at what you’re going to add in and not just what you’re going to take away. Have you always wanted to walk around the Cornish coast path, or immerse yourself in the Welsh mountains or escape to a Scottish loch? Explore new ways to travel. I thoroughly recommend www.seat61.org for train travel as he gives every route option imaginable as well as easy links for buying tickets.

This is a Climate Emergency and we need to change our behaviour individually and collectively now.

Linda Thomas makes luxury up-cycled clothing at Linda Thomas Eco Design, based in Bristol. For more, visit her website.

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Make the pledge to be flight-free in 2020

#flightfree2020

By Flight Free UK 

https://www.flightfree.co.uk/pledge

Flight Free UK is a people-powered campaign which asks people to agree not to fly in the year of 2020 – knowing that 100,000 others have pledged to do the same. It’s about taking collective responsibility to reduce the amount we fly in order to lessen our impact on the planet.

​Flying less is one of the most powerful ways we as individuals can reduce our carbon footprint, and with experts predicting that we have just a handful of years to take meaningful action on climate change, there has never been a better time to address the issue.

​Many of us fly without a second thought – it is an ingrained part of our culture, and a part of our global society, as people, goods and services are transported around the globe. Flight Free UK aims to raise awareness of the impact of those flights and inspire people to take action.

​It is easy to think that individual actions don’t make a difference, and not to bother trying. But if we can show that there are 100,000 people who are prepared to take an air-free year, we send a clear signal to industry and politicians – and also to each other – that there are many who are willing to change their lifestyles to protect the climate.

Please sign up !
https://www.flightfree.co.uk/pledge

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West Sussex County Council votes to do more on climate – but Gatwick airport intends to instead vastly increase its CO2 emissions

West Sussex County Council has agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change. South East Climate Alliance (SECA) campaigners hailed this as a potential ‘tipping point’ for the area. Two of the commitments made were to try to make the C County Council itself carbon neutral, and encourage residents and businesses to do more to help tackle climate change.  Council members were invited to make personal pledges on things like saving water and energy, and making low carbon journeys (air travel not mentioned specifically). Louise Goldsmith, Council Leader, said:  ” … we really do need everyone young, old and not so old and all businesses to come together and do their bit to become more sustainable…”  CAGNE attended the meeting, and Sally Pavey commented that aviation issues were included in the debate – Gatwick airport is in West Sussex, and is probably the largest carbon emitter in the area (about 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year). Cllr Liz Kitchen and Cllr Bill Acraman, raised the issue of Gatwick expansion, which would hugely increase the airport’s carbon, undoing any good done by local carbon cuts by individuals, businesses or the council.
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West Sussex County Council commits to do more to tackle climate change

5 April 2019 (West Sussex County Council website)

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A pledge to work towards making West Sussex County Council carbon neutral and the prioritisation of a campaign to encourage residents and businesses to do more to help tackle climate change were just two of the environmental commitments made at a meeting in Chichester today (Friday 5 April).During a debate at Full Council, West Sussex County Council members heard about the progress already being made in the county to adapt to our changing climate as well as updates on a range of initiatives for the future.A ‘notice of motion’ was agreed which said that it was imperative that all countries reduce their carbon emissions as soon as possible and that it is important  that the West Sussex County Council commits to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

Deborah Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The County Council has already committed to halve its carbon footprint by 2022 compared to a decade earlier. Last year we achieved a 17 per cent reduction in our carbon emissions – a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from the original baseline set in 2011/12.

“To achieve this saving we have improved our building management systems, improved insulation and upgraded lighting in our buildings and in street lights across the county. We have invested in renewable energy and now have solar installations on a high number of our buildings and schools.”

Members heard that counties like West Sussex have high potential to be leaders in the field of reducing carbon emissions. As well as reducing its reliance on energy generally, opportunities include the generation of clean, green energy locally and the promotion of the benefits to local organisations and residents.

Deborah continued: “I am really proud that we are leading by example in this area, by improving the efficiency of our buildings and investing in energy projects. Now we want to do as much as we can to highlight the ways in which residents, businesses, staff and members can contribute towards combating climate change. If everyone works together it can really make a big difference.”

Members were invited to make personal pledges to:

• Save water and energy
• Make low carbon journeys
• Shop local
• Fight against food waste
• Pass on plastic

A campaign aimed at residents and businesses will be planned for later this year.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “Over the last 15 years West Sussex County Council has been reducing its carbon footprint, demonstrating a positive commitment to responding to the global climate change challenge. We have done this in many ways and some of our aspirations have been incorporated in our West Sussex Plan. It is universally acknowledged that we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and the County Council is playing an important part with a planned £46.2m investment in low carbon energy projects over the next four years.”

“As a Council we are fully committed to ensuring that we continue to play a role in dealing with climate change, but we really do need everyone young, old and not so old and all businesses to come together and do their bit to become more sustainable and make a real difference for everyone’s future.”

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/west-sussex-county-council-commits-to-do-more-to-tackle-climate-change/ 

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Congratulations and thanks to everyone who came along to Chichester today, and who lobbied their County Council members to back the climate emergency motion.  It worked!  Though many of us were disappointed that the original motion was amended, and the climate emergency was ‘noted’ rather than ‘declared’, the Council took a big step today.  It looks like WSCC is serious about getting its act together on climate change. After the meeting SECA was invited to take part in a new working group being set up to take this agenda forward. So the omens are looking good that today could be a turning point.

Here’s the text of our press release:

PRESS RELEASE:  Climate action motion passed unanimously by County Council

Campaigners hailed today as a potential ‘tipping point’ in West Sussex, as the County Council agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change.

In a rare display of cross-party consensus, councillors from across the political spectrum took turns to underline the risks posed by climate change and need for decisive leadership by the County Council. Speaking in front of a packed public gallery, councillors called for action on cycle paths, electric charging points, food waste collection, public transport, air quality, and a range of other priorities.

The six point action plan set out in the motion includes a pledge for the Council to go carbon neutral by 2030, well ahead of UK-wide climate targets. It also sets out ambitions to ‘investigate ways of taking climate change impacts into account in all the Council’s policies and operations’.

The debate was preceded by a lively but good-natured march by over 140 climate campaigners and concerned citizens of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. The march ended on the steps of County Hall, giving protesters the chance to buttonhole their council representatives as they came in to the meeting. Councillors had already been lobbied by many of their constituents to back the vote, thanks to a county-wide letter writing campaign organised by the South East Climate Alliance (SECA).

Protesters making their voice heard outside County Hall

“We are taking today’s vote as a definite win for the climate,” said Dr Sally Barnard, Coordinator of SECA. “We were greatly encouraged by the breadth of support across the council chamber for stronger climate action”.

However, campaigners were disappointed that the amended motion states that the Council ‘notes the call for a campaign to declare a climate emergency’, rather than actually declaring an emergency, as the original motion proposed.

“It all depends on what happens next,” according to Dr Barnard. “If the Council follows up on the pledges it has made today, this could be a tipping point for climate action in West Sussex”.

“We are ready to work with the Council in coming up with an ambitious action plan, and in helping hold them to account in delivering on it”.

https://seclimatealliance.uk/climate-motion-passed-unanimously-by-west-sussex-county-council/

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Aviation growth –  one of the biggest threats this planet faces today.  The message sent to councillors during the WSCC debate on Friday 5thApril.

6th April 2019  (CAGNE press release)

CAGNE is  the campaign group, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Expansion

“We can only hope that this will mean that they will not be able to support new runways, growth at Gatwick Airport as this would be catastrophic for the planet, local air quality and climate change,” said CAGNE who were present throughout the debate held at County Hall, Chichester.

South East Climate Alliance campaigners hailed yesterday as a potential ‘tipping point’ in West Sussex, as the County Council agreed unanimously to back an amended motion pledging action on climate change.

In a display of cross-party consensus, councillors from across the political spectrum took turns to underline the risks posed by climate change and need for decisive leadership by the County Council. Speaking in front of a packed public gallery, councillors called for action on cycle paths, electric charging points, food waste collection, public transport, air quality, aviation and a range of other priorities.

“We believe it was only because CAGNE was present that aviation was included in the debate with two councillors, Cllr Liz Kitchen and Cllr Bill Acraman, raising the issue of Gatwick Airport expansion; aviation being one of  the biggest threats the planet faces today.”

The six point action plan set out in the motion includes a pledge for the Council to go carbon neutral by 2030, well ahead of UK-wide climate targets. It also sets out ambitions to ‘investigate ways of taking climate change impacts into account in all the Council’s policies and operations’.

The debate was preceded by a march by climate campaigners and concerned citizens of all ages. The march ended on the steps of County Hall, giving campaigners the chance to discuss climate change with councillors prior to the meeting.

CAGNE lobbied councillors before the debate to the facts about aviation emissions and the breach in climate change targets with Heathrow alone, let alone Gatwick growth or expansion.

CAGNE is a member of the South East Climate Alliance (SECA) who organised the event.

 

End

https://seclimatealliance.uk/climate-motion-passed-unanimously-by-west-sussex-county-council/

 

Telephone 07831 632537

CAGNW was established in Feb 2014

www.cagne.org

cagnegatwick@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/gatwickcagne Twitter @cagne_gatwick    Instagram CAGNE

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South East Climate Alliance (SECA)

Origins

The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) was set up in February 2019, following a ‘SOS Climate Emergency Day’ meeting in Horsham attended by over 120 people from 14 environmental groups across Sussex and Surrey. Between the groups present, we could cite many examples of thriving green initiatives – from repair cafés to solar schools.  Yet there was a widespread feeling of frustration that the current overall response to climate change just does not match the scale and urgency of the climate threat.

The room was packed for our inaugural meeting – we had to change venue three times to find a big enough room to meet in!

We decided to join forces to address this.  We agreed that our first focus should be a campaign to urge District and County Councils across the region to ‘Declare a Climate Emergency’. We plan to use the upcoming local government elections on May 2nd as an initial rallying point for mobilising local action. In this way, our aim is to demonstrate how widespread the concern about climate change really is, and encourage councillors and candidates to publicly get behind the idea of declaring a Climate Emergency.

Who We Are

The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) is a coalition of local environmental, community and faith groups from the South East of England uniting for urgent action on climate change.  It acts as an informal umbrella group and has been set up to share ideas and coordinate action. Groups affiliated with SECA remain autonomous and will continue to take their own decisions. Some will adopt traditional community organising approaches; others may prefer a non-violent direct action approach, as is being championed by the Extinction Rebellion movement.  SECA is not responsible for the actions of its individual member groups.

SECA is not affiliated to any political party. We have pledged to take a deliberately cross-party approach in our campaigning as we believe that the issue of climate change goes way beyond party politics.

In preparing this website, we have drawn considerably on the ideas and resources made available on the ClimateEmergency.uk website, which provides an excellent overview of the progress of the climate emergency movement across the UK.

Member Organisations listed at https://seclimatealliance.uk/about/ 

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Gatwick will get a Brüel & Kjær system to provide better flight and noise info for local people

Gatwick says it will soon improve the technology it uses, so local residents can get information on the details of planes using the airport. It will be using the EMS Brüel & Kjær system, also used by Heathrow. The website is due to be available in a few months. The system will also allow noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, which has been a key request from local communities for several years, since this was withdrawn by Gatwick and they had made complaining about noise very difficult. There will be “up to” 23 new noise monitoring terminals in surrounding areas, to monitor noise levels. These can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems. Gatwick hopes this will be preferred by local people, and provide them with better information. Also that airlines might “use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.” A Gatwick public affairs person said “… we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise.”… and Gatwick hopes it will ” improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 
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£1 million investment by Gatwick allows residents to access aircraft noise data

Gatwick has invested nearly £1 million in new technology that dramatically improves the monitoring of aircraft flights and associated noise – with information updated every second – so that local residents can access data and generate reports on demand, the airport announced today.

In a UK-airport first, the new system – provided by EMS Brüel & Kjær – also allows noise complaints to be submitted via an automated telephone line, a key request from the local community.

Up to twenty three new noise monitoring terminals will be introduced in surrounding areas to collect noise levels, which can then be presented in real time alongside flight information from the airport radar and other airport systems.

New noise monitor in front of aircraft landing on Gatwick’s main runway

The new technology helps to improve accessibility to noise information and the airport hopes it will also help to improve understanding among local communities by providing one of the most accurate and up to date noise and flight data systems.

Airlines can also use the data to analyse how they might improve the performance of their flights in terms of track keeping and noise.

The new system also makes aircraft noise information easier to access and understand through a new website – expected to be available in the next few months – that can be customised to show information on flights and noise relevant to a resident’s local area.

Tim Norwood, Director of Corporate Affairs, Planning and sustainability, Gatwick Airport, said:

“While many thousands of local people benefit from Gatwick’s jobs, connections and wealth creation, we know that some residents are concerned by the impacts of aircraft noise. The new noise and flight track keeping system means that residents can more easily and conveniently access information, and generate reports, on aircraft noise in real time. 

“The system is comprehensive, easy to use, and based on the latest technology and we very much hope that it also helps us to improve our engagement with communities that are negatively impacted by aircraft noise.” 

https://www.crawleynews24.co.uk/1-million-investment-by-gatwick-allows-residents-to-access-aircraft-noise-data/

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See earlier:

Gatwick now only allows noise complaints by online form (or paper post) – no longer by phone or email

After changing flight paths in 2014, Gatwick made other changes to flight paths that have affected a lot of people. Many who only had the occasional plane over them now find themselves subjected to one every 5 minutes or less, for hours on end, day after day. Gatwick has also slightly increased its numbers of flights. So people complained. The airport found itself inundated with complaints (which it rather charmingly calls “enquiries”). The number rose 6-fold in a year. Gatwick then changed the system so there could only be one noise complaint per household per day. Gatwick has now found a way to cut the complaints. While in the past people could email or phone their complaint, – now the only means of complaint is filling in a relatively long internet form.  Or sending in a complaint by paper post, which has now been made Freepost. This new system means anyone not able to access the internet is effectively prevented from complaining, unless they want to rack up bills. Under the new system there is no limit on the number of complaints per day but each time the ten lines of required information for the form must be filled in. Why is Gatwick so unhelpful? At least the complaint system at Heathrow allows someone to email, or phone and speak to a person. Gatwick’s treatment of its neighbours seems to have taken a further, downward, turn. Not being selected for a new runway, it has given up on any sort of charm offensive with the local residents.

Click here to view full story…

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And much earlier – what a wonderful woman !

 

NOT GUILTY of annoying the airport by complaining for 4 years about Gatwick aircraft noise

An elderly lady, Ann Jones, was recently arrested, at the instigation of Gatwick Airport, for lodging too many complaints with the airport noise complaints line. She was charged with the criminal offence of using a telephone to cause annoyance or anxiety – although she only spoke to an airport answerphone set up to receive noise complaints.  She was taken to court but found not guilty.  GACC said it was a disgrace the case had ever been brought, wasting public money.  Ann Jones had adopted the tactic of ringing the airport answerphone each time she heard a plane.  Although unusual, the court decided that this was not illegal.  As Ann said:  “What is the point of having a complaints service if one can’t use it to complain?” 

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2011/02/not-guilty-of-annoying-the-airport-by-complaining-for-4-years-about-gatwick-aircraft-noise/
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SSE takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to JR on Stansted expansion, including its CO2 emissions

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Stop Stansted Expansion takes Communities Secretary James Brokenshire to judicial review

Campaigners against the expansion of Stansted Airport say they will use latest figures showing Ryanair as one of Europe’s biggest polluters in their latest judicial challenge.

The airline, which transports 130 million people a year, 21 million of whom currently travel through Stansted Airport, produced 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9 per cent on last year and 49 per cent over the past five years.

Brain Ross from Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said that the group will include the data from the EU’s Transport & Environment group showing Ryanair as the tenth biggest CO2 emitter – all nine others are coal fired power stations – to prove the decision by Uttlesford District Council to approve the expansion of Stansted Airport to 43 million passengers per annum should be called in for determination by the government.

The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has already explained that his reason for not intervening was that the application does not involve issues of more than local importance.

But SSE considers this to be at odds with the facts that the noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, as is the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted Airport.

Mr Ross said: “That is part of our argument to the Secretary of State.

“Stansted produces about 3.7m tonnes of CO2 a year and Ryanair carries about 80 per cent of all passengers at Stansted.

“Of course it’s a big polluter and one of the arguments we put to Uttlesford District Council and one we will put to the High Court to get it called in is this is not just a local issue. It’s not just a national issue. It’s a global issue.

“You can’t just allow local authorities to approve an increase in carbon emissions as they like. There needs to be national co-ordination.”

The group has now taken a judicial review action against Mr Brokenshire for not deeming the application to be nationally significant and therefore for it not be called in under his powers.

In short, SSE believes that he was wrong to say that the further expansion of Stansted does not involve issues of more than local importance.

SSE already has an outstanding judicial review application against the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over his decision of  June 28, 2018, to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by Uttlesford District Council.

This case was originally scheduled for a two-day High Court hearing in February, but has been delayed to await the decision of the Communities Secretary.

Mr Ross said: “We have got all the data we need to demonstrate the significance of this – we have got Department for Transport predictions for Stansted through to 2050 and the airport’s own projections – but actually as a little bit to spice up the application and bring it to life for the benefit of the judge we will almost bring the Ryanair figures to his attention.”

Ken O’Toole, London Stansted chief executive, previously welcomed the Government’s decision to allow Uttlesford District Council to decide on the airport’s expansion.

“From the outset our local community has been a vital partner in this planning process, and their feedback has shaped our proposals which do not seek an increase in the permitted number of flights, and commit us to achieving a smaller noise footprint in the future than our existing permissions require,” he said.

“Our application is in line with the government’s aviation policy which supports airports seeking to make best use of existing runway capacity, and our proposals have been endorsed by a wide range of independent public bodies as part of a thorough local decision-making process.

 “We have always believed that the application should be determined locally, and this view has been supported by the Secretary of State Transport and now also the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.”

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See earlier:

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport.  Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Click here to view full story…

Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 biggest carbon emitters, according to EU ETS figures. That is for flights within the EU.  Ryanair declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on 2017 and up 49% over the last 5 years. The only larger emitters of carbon within Europe are power stations. Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”  Emissions from airlines, have risen over 25% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors. EasyJet was 31st on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments…we need to drive down the demand for aviation.”

Click here to view full story…

Stop Stansted Expansion to start legal challenge to government decision not to call in expansion application

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has confirmed that it will commence legal proceedings to challenge last week’s decision [20 March] by the Communities Secretary James Brokenshire not to intervene in the decision by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to approve the expansion of Stansted to 43 mppa.  Brokenshire said his reason for not intervening was that “the application does not involve issues of more than local importance”.  SSE considers this conclusion to be completely wrong. In the next month or two, Stansted is expected to overtake Manchester to become the UK’s 3rd busiest airport.  The noise, air pollution, community health and road traffic impacts of Stansted are felt far beyond the borders of Uttlesford, and the 3.7 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide attributable to Stansted flights this year will have significant adverse global impacts. SSE will apply to the High Court for a JR of Brokenshire’s decision. SSE solicitors have written to UDC pointing out that it would be inappropriate for UDC to issue any decision in relation to the airport planning application whilst these legal challenges are pending.  SSE already has an outstanding JR application against the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, over his decision of 28 June 2018 to allow the airport planning application to be determined locally by UDC.

Click here to view full story…

Government (James Brokenshire) rejects ‘call in’ of Stansted Airport planning application to increase passengers from 35m to 43 mppa

The Government has decided not to ‘call in’ Stansted Airport’s planning application to increase passenger numbers, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last year.  In February 2018, Stansted Airport owners, Manchester Airports Group, submitted a planning application to UDC that sought permission for the airport to increase the annual passenger number from 35 to 43 million per year. UDC granted this planning permission in November 2018, by a narrow vote of the Planning Committee, only won by the Chairman’s casting vote. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, has now written to say the decision by UDC is correct, saying:  “… the application does not involve issues of more than local importance justifying the secretary of state’s intervention.” That is, of course, wrong as planes using Stansted fly over a wide area. Brian Ross from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) said the planning consent still faces a legal challenge from SSE, versus the transport secretary in the High Court, which began last September. The case has been on hold for 4 months, pending the decision, but SSE is now takin legal advice on whether to widen the basis of its legal challenge.

Click here to view full story…

UTTLESFORD COUNCIL PLANNING CHAIRMAN DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HE WAS VOTING FOR!

Following the decision of the Chairman of Uttlesford Planning Committee, Councillor Alan Mills, to use his (additional) casting vote in favour of the airport planning application, Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) health adviser, Professor Jangu Banatvala, wrote to him to ask whether he had reviewed the latest important WHO Noise Guidelines, published on 10th October, prior to voting. The disturbing reply from Councillor Mills suggests that he was not aware of the WHO Guidelines and he believed the planning application was for 174,000 flights, rather than 274,000. He did not appear to have understood that the application was for an increase in flights, by about 25,000 per year, despite claiming to have read a third of the documents. Five councillors voted in favour of the Stansted application, but SSE has found that at least some of them had either not read, or had not understood, even the most basic information about the application. SSE said this is entirely unsatisfactory. It confirms that this application should be dealt with at a higher level than a small district council, with limited resources to deal with such a significant application with such widespread implications. SSE’s lawyers are now working on the detailed legal submissions to the Secretary of State on why he must now ‘call in’ the application for national determination.

Click here to view full story…

Uttlesford DC approves Stansted expansion plan, only by Chairman’s casting vote – but plans may now be “called in”

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has expressed dismay and disappointment that the vote on 14th November)by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) Planning Committee granted approval for Stansted’s planning application to grow – to an annual throughput of 43 million passengers per annum (from the 35 million cap now).  If this approval is allowed to stand, it would mean that Stansted could increase its flights by 44% and its passenger throughput by 66% compared, to last year’s levels.  The Planning Committee, comprising ten elected Uttlesford councillors, split right down the middle with 5 in favour of the application (including the Planning Committee Chairman) and 5 against.  Where there is a split vote, the Council rulebook gives the Chairman an additional (casting) vote – so he gets 2 votes.  Both BBC and ITV regional news teams filmed the session, which was attended by many local people.  UDC cannot issue a decision notice until the Sec of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire) has considered whether the application should be called in. This should have been done already, as the planned expansion is very near the threshold necessary – of an increase by 10 million annual passengers.  SSE will now submit further representations to the Secretary of State asking him (again) to call in the application. They are currently also legally challenging the decision.

Click here to view full story…

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Read more »

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.
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Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing airline polluter – the climate problem spans the aviation sector

Eight airlines grew their carbon emissions faster than Ryanair on flights within Europe last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2, Wizz Air, EasyJet, Vueling and Norwegian and national carriers TAP, Finnair and Lufthansa all out-paced the Dublin-based carrier which retained its title of having the highest emissions on European routes in 2018, according to official EU data released this week.[1]

Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a problem for the whole airline sector, which governments have left untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from flights within Europe account for only 40% of the problem – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe and these are entirely unregulated.[2]

See larger size chart at

https://infogram.com/airlines-ets-data_2018-1hnq41y0qmqp43z

 

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “Airlines’ emissions are booming and not just on cheap flights. National carriers and low-cost airlines all benefit from paying no fuel tax and VAT while the rest of us must pay our way. Governments and the EU need to wake up, starting with a tax on kerosene and clean fuel mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

What’s more, aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

Rather than taxing and regulating aviation emissions, governments are pursuing a controversial UN offsetting scheme for aviation that will allow aviation emissions to continue growing. There are serious doubts over the environmental effectiveness of carbon offsets. Airlines can emit even more carbon by buying very cheap offsets – where they invest in environmental projects, such as a hydrodam project which later collapsed, instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.

Andrew Murphy said: “It’s no surprise that aviation emissions continue to soar as governments have wasted two decades trying to make offsetting work. It’s now time to call it quits on this failed climate policy, and instead focus on proven measures – taxing kerosene, and ultimately replacing it with zero-emission fuels.”

Notes to editors:

[1] Eurowings’ emissions grew 83% in the same period, however this is largely through merging emissions with Air Berlin and germanwings.

[2] EASA Environment Report, 2019.

https://www.easa.europa.eu/eaer/

 


See also

Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 biggest carbon emitters, according to EU ETS figures. That is for flights within the EU.  Ryanair declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on 2017 and up 49% over the last 5 years. The only larger emitters of carbon within Europe are power stations. Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at T&E said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”  Emissions from airlines, have risen over 25% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors. EasyJet was 31st on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. Prof Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments…we need to drive down the demand for aviation.”

Click here to view full story…

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Ryanair’s carbon emissions within Europe make it the EU’s 10th largest emitter

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‘Ryanair is the new coal’: airline enters EU’s top 10 emitters list

Irish firm joins nine coal plants on list, with carbon emissions up nearly 50% in last five years

Ryanair has become the first non-coal company to join Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters, according to EU figures.

The Irish airline, which transports 130 million people a year, declared 9.9 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, up 6.9% on last year and 49% over the last five years, according to data in the EU’s latest emissions trading system registry.

All the numbers per company, by country, can be seen at 

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/clima/files/ets/registry/docs/verified_emissions_2018_en.xlsx

Andrew Murphy, the aviation manager at the European Federation for Transport and Environment, said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, dismissed climate change concerns as “complete and utter rubbish” in an interview two years ago. His airline is now ranked as Europe’s 10th worst emitter, after nine coal plants. Poland’s Bełchatów is the worst polluter, producing 38 megatonnes of planet-warming emissions annually.

Coal emissions are falling, though, as Europe’s transition to cleaner energy continues. In stark contrast, emissions from airlines, which are exempted from fuel taxes and VAT on tickets, have soared by 26.3% since 2014, outpacing all other transport sectors.

Ryanair did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

EasyJet was Europe’s next worst-performing airline, in 31st place on the list, after an 11% rise in emissions in 2018. It was followed by Lufthansa, Norwegian and British Airways, according to analysis of the EU data by the thinktank Sandbag and Transport and Environment.

Aviation is responsible for about 3% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, but industry forecasts suggest this could rise by up to 700% by 2050 as the sector grows.

Murphy described aviation as “Europe’s biggest climate failure”. Europe’s airlines pay about €800m (£680m) a year for their rights to pollute. But some studies suggest this sum is eclipsed by the €27bn they would have to stump up if their fuel tax and VAT exemptions were ended.

Despite increased attention from policymakers, the sector receives up to 85% of its EU emissions trading allowances free, with Ryanair consequently saving €96.6m in 2018.

Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, said: “Ryanair use new and efficient aircraft rammed to the rafters with passengers, illustrating how technology alone cannot reconcile aviation’s rocketing emissions with the Paris climate commitments.

“If we genuinely care for our children’s futures, we need to drive down the demand for aviation. This will require stringent regulations focusing on frequent fliers rather than those taking the occasional trip.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/apr/01/ryanair-new-coal-airline-enters-eu-top-10-emitters-list?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

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Ryanair joins the club of Europe’s top 10 carbon polluters

Ryanair is now one of the top 10 carbon emitters within Europe, a league which had until now been exclusively occupied by coal plants. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the airline’s No 10 ranking, revealed in official figures released today, reflects Europe’s failure to put in place effective measures to rein in the runaway emissions growth of aviation, which pays no taxes on its fuel and VAT on its tickets.

Andrew Murphy, aviation manager at T&E, said: “When it comes to climate, Ryanair is the new coal. This trend will only continue until Europe realises that this undertaxed and under-regulated sector needs to be brought into line, starting with a tax on kerosene and the introduction of mandates that force airlines to switch to zero-emission jet fuel.”

T&E said it is no surprise that the most undertaxed mode of transport is also the one with the fastest growing CO2 emissions. That needs to end. Airlines should have their free emissions allowances in the EU emissions trading system removed, start paying tax on their kerosene, and be subject to VAT on their tickets – like all other transport sectors. Radically cutting aviation emissions would also require a shift to synthetic kerosene, produced from renewable electricity and carbon captured from the air.

But, instead, governments are pursuing a controversial UN offsetting scheme for aviation, known as Corsia, which will allow aviation emissions to continue growing. There are serious doubts over the environmental effectiveness of carbon offsets. Airlines can emit even more carbon by buying ultra-cheap offsets – where they invest in environmental projects, such as a hydrodam project which later collapsed, instead of reducing their own carbon footprint.

Andrew Murphy concluded: “Aviation is Europe’s biggest climate failure. The worst thing we can do in response is to put all our hopes in an offsetting scheme that gives airlines a license to grow indefinitely. But that is exactly what airlines have cooked up at the industry-dominated UN aviation agency. The time has come for a big change in Europe’s aviation policy.”

Note to editors:

[1] For emissions that were not lodged on time, 2018 emissions have been set to 2017. Only open ETS accounts are considered. For aviation, this assumption amounts to 5.5 Mt, approximately 8% of the verified reported emissions.

[2] The data is for emissions of flights within the current EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), which covers flights within Europe, with some exceptions (flights to the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores). In many cases, airlines’ global emissions will be even higher.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/press/ryanair-joins-club-europe%E2%80%99s-top-10-carbon-polluters

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See also

Ryanair the biggest but not fastest growing EU airline CO2 emitter – whole airline sector emissions rising very fast

The carbon emissions of 8 airlines for intra-European flights grew even faster than Ryanair last year. Low-cost airlines Jet2 (20% up); TAP (>12% up); EasyJet, Finnair, Wizz (up about 11%); Vueling and Norwegian (over 8%) and Lufthansa all increased CO2 emissions faster than Ryanair, though Ryanair has the highest emissions on European routes in 2018. Transport & Environment (T&E) says the top 10 growing polluters show that aviation’s runaway emissions are a huge problem. But governments have left airlines untaxed and under-regulated compared to other transport. Emissions from intra-European flights account for 40% of the aviation CO2  – the remaining 60% comes from flights to destinations outside Europe. Those are entirely unregulated, not being part of the EU ETS. Aviation regulators are consistently underestimating the extent of the emissions growth in their planning forecasts. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) anticipated a 3.3% increase in carbon emissions on flights within Europe last year, but official data shows they grew 4.9% – or 1.1 megatonnes of CO2 more than expected.

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ICAO blocks any critics on Twitter and describes comments on aviation and climate as “fake news”

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is dismissing factual critiques and blocking Twitter accounts that raise concerns about the climate change impact of flying, accusing them of “fake news” and “spam”. A number of campaigners and researchers complain they have been barred from following @ICAO on Twitter, including famous and respected climate scientist, Kevin Anderson. ICAO’s combative approach to public engagement has drawn wider criticism, with environmental journalists describing it as “spectacularly ill-judged” and “self-defeating“. On Wednesday, Steve Westlake, a behavioural scientist at Cardiff University, shared a screenshot showing Icao had blocked him. It came after he responded to 3 ICAO tweets by sharing a comment from Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg arguing most airport expansions were incompatible with meeting international climate goals. That analysis is uncontroversial. Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. AEF commented that “Climate leadership should always begin with open and transparent debate about the issues and challenges, so this is worrying.” 
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‘Fake news’: UN aviation body blocks online climate critics

The International Civil Aviation Organization is dismissing factual critiques and blocking accounts that raise concerns about the climate change impact of flying

The UN’s aviation body is blocking climate critics on Twitter, accusing them of “fake news” and “spam”.

A number of campaigners and researchers complain they have been barred from following the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) account, after posting messages about aviation emissions.

Icao’s combative approach to public engagement has drawn wider criticism, with environmental journalists describing it as “spectacularly ill-judged” and “self-defeating“.

On Wednesday, Steve Westlake, a behavioural scientist at Cardiff University, shared a screenshot showing Icao had blocked him. It came after he responded to three Icao tweets by sharing a comment from Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg arguing most airport expansions were incompatible with meeting international climate goals.

That analysis is uncontroversial. Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The sector’s emissions target, negotiated in Icao, is not aligned with the Paris Agreement, which calls for global warming to be held at 1.5C or below 2C.

A few hours later, Icao tweeted a poem declaring “spam, fake news or plain abuse/fall outside our terms of use”. In response to critics, it insisted: “We don’t want to reduce activists’ focus on #aviationemissions. We in fact encourage it. For it to be effective, it should be fact-based and well-targeted. Abuse, spam, and misinformation are not helpful to anyone.”

About :
Spam, , or plain abuse,
Fall outside our terms of use!
We will not have this behaviour here,
And thus we must again declare,
We will not engage with you if you dare,
To pollute our feed through clear misuse!

More:
https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/social-media.aspx 

See @ICAO’s other Tweets

Other users to fall foul of Icao’s social media account include British academic Kevin Anderson, who champions a moral case for flying less, and Vincent van Oort, who described Icao’s carbon offsetting scheme as “weak” and called for “fair taxation” to reflect the sector’s environmental impact.

It is not just climate campaigners: user Pierre-Yves Baubry appears to have been blocked for asserting that Taiwan controlled its own airspace, not Icao member state China.

Kevin Anderson@KevinClimate

Just noticed that I’ve been blocked by the international civil aviation authority @icao Have others working on aviation emissions also been blocked? Appears to be that their commitment to open skies does not extend to open (& courteous) debate?

142 people are talking about this

Asked to explain the policy, Anthony Philbin, head of communications at Icao, told Climate Home News: “Normally we block campaigners after they have repeatedly ignored our advice that the actual decisions regarding their concerns are being made by sovereign nation states.

“There is a common tendency among persons not familiar with multilateral governance to identify the decisions made through Icao as being ‘Icao’s decisions’, and to subsequently direct criticisms at our organisation for being somehow negligent or irresponsible regarding the targets and outcomes countries decide on together here.

“I’m sure you can understand that such misperceptions and false accusations can be unduly damaging to our reputation as an effective multilateral agency.”

Westlake said he had had no such advice or counterargument from Icao before he was blocked, nor had he posted on their timeline before.

Icao is the forum for countries to regulate emissions from aviation. Its member states agreed in 2016 to cap net emissions at 2020 levels. That is set to be largely achieved by airlines paying for emissions cuts in other sectors, to offset their growth.

The details of the carbon offsetting scheme are being negotiated largely behind closed doors. Earlier this month, campaigners welcomed a decision to prevent double-counting of emissions savings, but warned the process was vulnerable to industry capture and weak environmental integrity.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/03/27/un-aviation-body-calls-online-climate-critics-fake-news/

The AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) commented:

Climate leadership should always begin with open and transparent debate about the issues and challenges, so this is worrying:

 

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