Hello. I am a member of Stay Grounded, which is an international movement which acts to combat excessive – and unsustainable – levels of aviation.

Frequent flyers (“super emitters”) represent only 1% of the population of the world. However, they were responsible for half of aviation’s emissions in 2018. In that year, a billion tonnes of CO2 were emitted by aeroplanes.

In 2018, airlines were paid £75 billion (of our money) in subsidies by the government, simply by not paying for the damage they caused to the climate. Green conditions (including the planting of trees, insulation of buildings and developing green technologies) should be a condition of these overly generous bailouts.

Only 4% of the population of the Earth flew abroad in 2018 – and only 11% flew abroad. You may have guessed that air passengers from the USA have a significantly larger carbon footprint than those from anywhere else. In fact, their aviation-related carbon footprint equates to more than that of the next ten countries combined! An “elite group” that take frequent flights has a huge impact on the crisis in the climate. This, naturally (or unnaturally!) affects everyone else.

One silver lining of the dark cloud of coronavirus is that air passenger numbers dropped by 50% this year. This should cause the aviation to be made fairer and possibly more sustainable. 

The government has doled out massive bailouts (of our money) to airlines. Green conditions could be added to these bailouts. Such examples include forcing airlines to eliminate all domestic flights.

Jake Yeates