IATA Set To Combat Greta Thunberg’s Flight Shaming Movement

The aviation industry is set to launch a campaign to combat the growing flight shaming movement led by Greta Thunberg. The campaign comes as weakened demand has been reported in Europe.

Flight Shaming, IATA, Aviation Emissions
Climate activist Greta Thunberg has helped flight shaming to increase in popularity. Photo: Holger Detje from Pixabay (Aircraft) | Anders Hellberg via Wikimedia (Greta)

The flight shaming movement is growing in momentum across Europe. The movement sees passengers shunning flights for other methods of transport such as trains and cars. The aviation industry is responsible for just 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. However, despite giving off fewer emissions than other industries, and trying to make a positive difference, the aviation industry has become the face of emissions across the globe.

Why is aviation suffering?

The aviation industry has become one of the faces of global emissions. As previously mentioned, aviation contributes to 2.5 percent of global CO2 emissions. This compares to around 10% from the global fashion industry according to the United Nations.

Part of the issue is surely the visibility of carbon dioxide emissions from aircraft. When flying, it is rather obvious that the aircraft’s engines are generating emissions. However, heading back to the fashion analogy, when picking up a new pair of trousers, you don’t necessarily think about how they were created.

Flight Shaming, IATA, Aviation Emissions
Aviation has become one of the faces of global emissions. Photo: US Government

This has, in part, led to the creation of the flight shaming movement. In a bid to disassociate themselves with the emissions of the aviation industry, passengers are opting to take other methods of transport. The flight shaming movement is being spearheaded by schoolgirl Greta Thunberg who launched the Fridays for Future Initiative. She recently took a sailboat to travel to America to highlight the flight shaming movement.

The effects of flight shaming have largely been felt in Europe to date, particularly in Scandinavian countries and central Western Europe. Demand has fallen in these areas, according to Reuters, however, it is impossible to place a definitive figure on the amount.

What is the industry doing in response

The aviation industry is taking a very proactive response to deal with its environmental emissions as a whole. Examples of action already taken include scrapping single-use plastics from onboard, and mandatory carbon offsetting schemes.

Flight Shaming, IATA, Aviation Emissions
Airlines are taking a proactive approach to their environmental commitments. Photo via Pixabay

Additionally, according to Reuters, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is planning a campaign to help mitigate the effects of the flight shaming movement. IATA’s chief, Alexandre de Juniac, told Reuters: “We will launch a very, very big campaign … to explain what we have done, what we are doing, and what we intend to do in the future”.

The campaign will additionally tackle “misleading information” which has been disseminated to the general public. While details of the project appear to still be under wraps, the campaign will be available to airlines and airports.

Do you think a campaign will help tackle flight shaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.