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‘Flight shaming’ is in the air as UN summit faces climate crisis

(Eco Business, 30 Sep 2019) Commercial flying currently accounts for about 2 per cent of global carbon emissions and about 12 per cent of transport emissions.

As world leaders met in New York this week, one question kept coming up at climate change events: How did you get here?

Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg made headlines for deciding to sail rather than fly to New York for the climate summit that kicked off the United Nations’ key annual meeting.

But world leaders and delegates arrived by plane in their thousands, prompting a gathering of tourism executives in New York to ponder how to address the fact that flying adds to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.

“Flight shaming” - that came from the Swedish-born concept of “flygskam” - had “firmly entered the consciousness of Europeans,” said the event’s program, a climate-themed gathering organised by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

“If there’s an elephant in the room … of course it’s aviation,” Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen told the event.

Commercial flying currently accounts for about 2 per cent of global carbon emissions and about 12 per cent of transport emissions, according to data cited by the Air Transport Action Group.

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Eco Business, 30 Sep 2019: ‘Flight shaming’ is in the air as UN summit faces climate crisis