Commercial aviation grows constantly and, dragged to the number of flights and passengers, greenhouse gas emissions have multiplied. Since 2000, the number of passengers has increased from 1,600 to 4,300 million annually. In 2019 the sector launched almost one billion tons of COtwo to the atmosphere. Almost 70% more than in 2005.
Only the increase in emissions of the last five years is equivalent to 50 coal power plants to generate electricity. Even if it were a country, aviation would be in the top 10 of global issuers, such as points out the European Commission, It is not required or included in the Paris Agreement against Climate Change. Your environmental plan is your own and voluntary. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is self-regulating. The basis of your plan is to buy allowances: pay for the purpose of the COtwo that the reactors launch is “compensated” for not issuing other sectors to which they buy those rights or for green projects financed by the airlines such as a hydroelectric plant or a reforestation plan.
Shame to fly
In this context, the concept of “shame to fly” has emerged that has expanded from Sweden (the country of origin of activist Greta Thumberg). After all, it is estimated that only 10% of the world’s population has ever flown. It is an own transport of the enriched world.
The reduction of flights and passengers for environmental reasons grows. An investigation by the Swiss bank UBS in the summer of 2019 revealed that one in five respondents (6,000 aircraft users from the US, Britain, Germany and France) had reduced their air travel as a result of that embarrassment to fly.
Along these lines, the Stay Grounded group has drawn up a battery of proposals presented by Tuesday Ecologists in Action. It is committed to ending public aviation subsidies, limiting routes – especially the shortest ones – or promoting alternatives that do not consume fossil fuels.
Aviation gets rid of fiscal pressure. “Huge indirect subsidies,” is defined by the Stay Grounded analysis. The fuel commonly used by aircraft, kerosene, for example, is tax free. The report argues that with a “standard VAT for kerosene, emissions in Europe could be reduced by 18%.” They also propose that potential ticket fees could focus on the most frequent travelers or according to the mileage of the flight to discourage the multiplication of journeys. On the other hand, Stay Grounded admits that these measures do not produce profound changes in transport habits: “The purpose is that aviation does not enjoy an unfair advantage over other means of transport.”
The idea that crosses this whole study is to shrink the air sector. “The establishment of absolute limits to aviation is, in principle, the easiest and safest way to ensure that the industry fulfills its duties regarding climate change mitigation,” he says. In his opinion, this regulation can be applied to flights whose route can be covered in five hours of train, domestic flights in small states or the limitation to the number of flights for certain airports. In the Netherlands and France, legal initiatives have already been registered to ban short air routes.
In a logical sequence, limiting air transport implies strengthening other means. “Invest in the expansion of long-distance intercity train and bus networks, to include more trains and night buses and make them more comfortable.”
The Air Transport Action Group remember that technological renewal “has allowed to avoid the emission of 80 million tons of COtwo since 2000. “He adds that companies expect to spend a billion dollars to improve the energy efficiency of their fleets” by an average of 1.5% per year from 2010 to 2020. “This partnership – composed of airlines, manufacturers, airports, pilots, controllers, tour operators and chambers of commerce – underlines that this industry holds “10.2 million direct jobs”.
The environmentalists document contrasts that “jobs will not be lost, but will be transferred directly through a just transition, which requires negotiations and joint planning.”