According to climate experts, the flying of an individual person is important when you want to reduce emissions.
By plane traveling seems to reach record popularity this year, and Finns living on the edge of Europe are not the least bit enthusiastic about it.
Quite the opposite: Finns belong to the world for the most diligent travelers. Finns also cause the world’s second most aviation emissions measured per inhabitant, it turns out The International Council on Clean Transportation – organization’s report.
Last year, a total of Finavia passed through the airports more than 15 million passengers. The number of passengers increased by almost 190 percent compared to the previous year.
“Now we’re probably dismantling the desire to travel that has built up during the corona virus,” estimates the specialist researcher Johanna Niemistö from the Finnish Environmental Center (Syke).
What if it is by the way, how much does an individual Finn fly?
The question came up on social media when HS reports on Anna-Katri Räihäwho visited all, more than 190 countries in the world as the first Finnish woman.
Räihä, who works as an environmental consultant, said that stopping private people from flying will not solve the problem of global warming.
But what if everyone traveled the same way he did?
For, whether you choose your summer holiday destination near or far is important, Niemistö says. According to Niemistö, if everyone suddenly wanted to travel to every country in the world, it would be a completely unsustainable peak in emissions.
“If we consider the future goals of reducing the individual carbon footprint to an annual level of 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person by 2030, then even a single round-trip long-haul flight can exceed this emissions budget.”
In his opinion, air travel in particular can play a very significant role in everyone’s carbon footprint. Finnair’s emission counter based on this, on a flight from Helsinki to, for example, Paris or Malaga, the emissions of the flight are more than half that of a long-haul flight to, say, Bangkok.
Emission compensations director of responsibility for Compensate, a non-profit organization that provides Niklas Kaskeala marvels at the way social media and traditional media admire a way of life that is unsustainable.
“We completely forget that half of the emissions from flying are caused by one percent of the world’s population,” says Kaskeala.
About 80 percent of the world’s population does not fly at all. In Finland, about half.
According to Kaskeala, world tourism also lacks the aspect of justice in that the force of the climate crisis shows itself the most in poor countries where people do not fly or travel at all. Where drought and loss of nature are the most affected, people have the least opportunities to influence climate change.
Worldwide air traffic the share is 2–4 percent of direct carbon dioxide emissions caused by human activity.
Doctor of research Michael Lettenmeier Aalto University says that the number is actually much higher due to climate effects, rather around 11–12 percent.
He is talking about the radiation forcing factor, the magnitude of which the scientific community is divided on.
“The carbon dioxide emissions of an airplane are not the same as the climate effect of flying,” Lettenmeier reminds.
According to him, the smaller percentage only includes the amount of carbon dioxide produced during fuel combustion. The greenhouse effect is also increased by the combined effect on the climate caused by other combustion products, such as water vapor, aerosols and nitrogen oxides.
Also done by Syke in 2019 In the Air Travel Emissions report we refer to this additional emission factor for air travel.
“If you can skip ten-hour flights, it reduces the average Finn’s carbon footprint by about a quarter,” says Lettenmeier.
He points out that flying in leisure time cannot be called satisfying basic needs. Air travel emits more carbon dioxide than driving. When you travel to Lapland on vacation by car, at best it can seat many people, and the emissions are distributed among everyone.
He admits that it is a bit more difficult to get to central Europe by land from Finland than many other countries, but there are alternatives.
“There are already fast trains from Stockholm to anywhere in Europe. They are also coming from Tallinn when Rail Baltica is completed,” says Lettenmeier.
Johanna Niemistö energy efficiency and new technology also play a big role in reducing emissions.
“On the other hand, when the volume of air travel is large and constantly increasing, the production of renewable fuels also burdens the environment more and more,” he says.
According to him, a better solution would be to completely change the motive power of the airplanes to, for example, electricity.
“The development of electric airplanes has progressed rapidly in recent years, and pre-orders have been made for around 20-seat electric airplanes in anticipation that they will be available for short-haul flights already in the middle of this decade,” Niemistö says.
However, some experts consider this schedule to be unrealistic.
Kaskeala says that he himself has not flown on vacation in eight years. He still does not want to blame the choices of individual people.
“When one percent of all people in the world cause half of the emissions from flying, you can deduce what would happen if everyone behaved the same way as Räihä,” says Kaskeala.
“Perhaps everyone can conclude from that how sustainable flying is in terms of the climate.”
Read more: The amount of air travel is predicted to be close to a record this year
Read more: A Finnish woman was able to visit all the countries of the world – the last country on the list is “from the worst to the worst”
Read more: A tourist gets off the plane wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of the freezing cold – On a remote field, the tourism winter of all time is forged
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