What’s Going On Here?
The Swedish organisation ‘We Stay on the Ground‘ have launched a ‘Flight Free 2020’ campaign urging people all around the world to commit to giving up flying for an entire year to reduce their carbon footprint and help raise awareness of the climate crisis.
What Does This Mean?
Back in June we wrote about ‘flygskam’ – the Swedish word meaning ‘flight shame’. Well, this anti-flying climate change movement has gained some traction with Flight Free 2020 campaigns now in 10 countries including the UK, with the aim of encouraging 100,000 people to take the pledge. The campaign was set up to encourage people to change their transport habits amidst our current climate emergency. Taking the pledge doesn’t have to mean giving up flying completely, but a significant number of people abstaining from flying for a whole year can help make a statement, break the habit and help people to consider transport alternatives to carbon-intensive flying.
Why Should We Care?
Although there is some progress in electric aircraft technology, widespread ‘eco-friendly’ flying is not going to go mainstream any time soon. Flying accounts for approximately 2% of global CO2 emissions, however, this is much higher in wealthy countries. The aviation industry is also set to grow significantly, with our own UK government on track to expand airports and Brits flying more than any other nationality. Is this really aligned with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 or (ideally) sooner?
Taking just one flight produces more carbon emissions than some individuals emit in an entire year in some countries, and giving up one return transatlantic flight has a bigger impact than both switching to a renewable energy provider and eating a plant-based diet! Abstaining from flying for one year not only does wonders for your personal carbon footprint but sends a message to politicians, friends and family that we are willing to alter our lifestyle to tackle climate change – so much so that some of us curious.earthers are taking the pledge!
- Think you could go flight free for 2020? Take the pledge here and help them reach 100,000! The UK specific page is here.
- Explore wonderful destinations in your own country or places that are easy to get to without flying. Check out these 11 no-fly adventures from the National Geographic.
- Can’t avoid taking a flight? Check out our carbon offsetting article for how to do this effectively.