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.


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Thiago Dourado

I personally agree with actions to fight the global warmimg, but I don’t think that a kid that don’t know anything about economy and geopolotics is a good person to pay attention at. Global warmimg needs a serious conversation with people that actually understand how the world works and what it needs to get better and for me this kid is not one of them.


Absolutely delighted to hear this 🙂
Gretta is (viciously) negative about EVERYTHING…it’s almost as if she’s an anarchist!
It’s time that there was an organized response from the aviation industry, to combat a lot of the one-sided, over-simplified assertions being made by Gretta and her cronies.


Agreed Peter. I don’t read any reports of her organising armies to go fight the burning coal deposits, the burning tyre dumps, the burning forests etc. Wonder if she factored into her trip the emissions cost of building the sailboat?

Fernando B Menendez

I was in France twice , last year , and I rather take the train ( TGV ) than fly, is cheaper fast and reliable , no searches ,or did you pack your bags ? .all this takes time .yes I agree with her .


But remember planes connect families that live across continents how do expect them to travel aka south America and Europe?

Damian Ousley

By trying to borrow a free yacht from some member of the elite liberal leftist community, shows that Greta and her chums they are out of touch badly with the common individual. In Australia, Greta would be accused of being a bludger, in the United States a b*m, in the UK a tight a**e. The amount of petroleum product that goes into carbon fiber and fiberglass resin materials is quite intense . Even wooden boats require blue glue or petroleum derived pitch to water proof the joints and timbers. It’s all now a farcical public publicity sideshow involving anything to do with Greta and her credibility is now diminished to sub zero and industries and people affected by her propaganda will either switch off or react in a hostile manner to her stance. And quite justifiably so.

In-Frequent Flyer

Taking a train across Europe is easier due to the smaller distances between major cities. Doing that in the US or anywhere else is almost impossible. That’s why flying is cheaper and more practical. Plus, jet engines don’t produce much emissions now like they did decades ago,and this is even less so when they’re in flight. Even a car produces less CO2 when your flying down a highway.


Cleaner motor vehicles and a cheap and easily recyclable technology to replace the use of plastic is far more important

Chi Hou Tang

Nonsense. If flying is a shame, how about train and cars? Does train run by itself? No, It needs electricity or diesel.


I see nothing wrong with trying to mimimize pollution and reduce emissions, here in the UK we are encouraged to walk, in the u.s they are encouraged to drive or fly.

Jason Dykstra

Finally, someone began speaking sense in this world of madness. I find it ironic that the flight shaming movement thinks that people should drive more than they fly as driving is the least safe and most polluting form of transport.



It would appear that the over-simplified assertions originate with those people who pretend they know a whole lot — but don’t actually seem to know all that much — and who ignore the fact that the aviation industry is not only a culpable contributor to climate change, but that the industry is set to be even more culpable, going forward.

By 2020, global aviation emissions are projected to be around 70 percent higher than in 2005 and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) forecasts that by 2050 they could grow by a further 300-700 percent.

The increased warming effect of other, non-CO2, emissions (i.e. NOx), can also make a significant difference to emission calculations when they are released at high altitudes. The climate effect of non-CO2 emissions from aviation is much greater than the equivalent from other modes of transport, as these non-CO2 greenhouse gases formed at higher altitudes persist for longer than at the surface and also have a stronger warming potential. However, there is scientific uncertainty about how this effect should be represented when doing the calculations. The ICAO excludes it, while for example, the department for mobility and transport at the EU is using a 90 percent increase to reflect it. Thus, the cumulative impact of aviation on man-made climate change in 2005 was estimated at 4.9 percent, which comprises the impact of greenhouse gas emissions including CO2 and non-CO2 effects such as nitrogen oxides, vapour trails and cloud formation triggered by the altitude at which aircraft operate.

It’s important to note that the aviation industry is heavily subsidised — e.g. by direct subsidies such as operations to loss-making airports that are propped up by taxpayer’s money, and infrastructure developments. The industry is typically exempt from basic consumer taxes such as VAT and aviation fuel is rarely taxed (globally).

Across the EU, for example, consumers pay on average about €0.5 per litre of fuel in tax every time they fill up their cars, but airlines pay no tax when they fill up their 737s and A320s.

These subsidies artificially boost aviation demand, while at the same time reduce the incentives for more sustainable aviation such as developing significantly more efficient aircraft (i.e. doing much more than just “max-ing” and “neo-ing”) and less use of carbon intensive fuels. Emissions will likely continue to soar as long as the industry is not forced to accelerate change.

One way of pricing carbon in the transport industries would, of course, be to adjust existing taxes and levies on energy products according to their CO2 intensity. Reductions would be achieved purely through an (annually increasing) price on CO2 — preferably agreed to first by governments within a trading block such as the EU. This would finally force the aviation industry and its stakeholders to act.


“The aviation industry faces huge challenges if it is to meet its own self-imposed climate change targets, according to a new UN report. And even if it does meet all its targets, aviation will still have consumed 12% of the global carbon budget for 1.5C by 2050, Carbon Brief analysis shows. If it fails to reach this target, its share of this budget could rise to as much as 27%. The sector has an aspirational goal to cap its emissions at 2020 levels, so that any growth after this year is achieved in a “carbon neutral” way. This will not be easy. Airlines estimate that air travel will grow by an average of just under 5% per year up to 2034 — and the emissions from these extra air miles will be difficult to decarbonise.”



Absolutely agree that a campaign educating people about this issue is essential.

Susana Cárdenas

IT’s important to have the real information and to know what the industries are doning to improv emisiones.
Movements should have this information and not disinform population.
Susana Cárdenas
Quito Ecuador


Manufacturers have been improving fuel economies of aircraft for many years now and they are much better with each version. For me to travel across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver is a five hour flight. If I could take a train, the trip would be 4-5 days. doesn’t quite work out. Hmmm.

Nick J Sydney

I live in Sydney and much of my work is spread between Sydney, US and Europe. It would be more than a little impractical to travel in any way other than by air. Climate change is there I believe but Greta and her ilk are hitting the wrong people. Yes I’m a frequent flyer but not for pleasure. What about the multitude of low cost airlines in Europe which target the infrequent and leisure traveller based on price? How about pricing them off LCC and onto rail (which is plentiful across Europe)?

Hein Vandenbergh

Maybe anarchism is what is required to make the climate change deniers – such as our Oz Govt – see reason and protect my grandchildrens’ right to a healthy life. Then again, in Australia, flying is virtually mandatory because of the huge inter-metropolitan distances, poor roads, and a virtual lack of train services. However, in Europe, things are very different. Why fly KLM Cityhopper from Amsterdam to Eindhoven when a normal, fast but not TGV train gets you there in 50 mins, city centre to city centre. AND, this is the crux, ALL ENERGY used by ALL of the Dutch railways (NS) is windfarm generated. Sure there’s a pollution energy cost associated with windfarms but 97% of that is one-off in the construction phase. Moreover, as I experienced myself recently, it is one heck of a lot more agreeable than flying, with its crowds, security, restrictions on baggage etc etc. I did Maastricht-AMS some years ago with Cityhopper – not arranged by me – and it was a pretty rough experience. Anarchy, with a reasonable perspective on legitimate travel by air, may just be what’s needed. Attacking Greta is akin to playing the ‘man’, not the game: non ad rem sed ad hominem – a 100% no-no.

Ian Harlow

There really is NO climate problem, but the Agenda 21-promoting Marxists are relentlessly pushing the lies.


Car transportation is on average 57% higher than air transports. This means that cars emit more CO2 than planes but she’s telling us to stop using planes!? Does she even do research or is she to busy skipping school and sailing across oceans…

Jan andersson

this madness started by a schoolgirl has grown into a landslide must be met with facts, you think are on the right track.


i love flying who cares about that girl


Give Greta a free flight to the COP25 meeting in Spain, with a cast-iron guarantee to offset all emissions and an information pack to help her target the actual worst-emitting industries.

Andres Lindarte

The problem of Global warming is animal farming and the increase of life expectancy, we are just too many people in this world who needs feeding. Stop blaming planes.

Erik Gertkvist

What “flight shaming”?

Just wait a month until the Swedish youths that yesterday celebratet Greta Thunberg demands to spend Christmas in Thailand. Then the whole idea of “flight shaming” will desintegrate.


I heard that when Greta’s yacht arrived in the states, the owner and another crew member flew back to Europe and 2 new crew members were flown out. Generating 2 return flights PLUS the yacht. Anyone know for sure?


Modern long haul jets have, last time I checked, been can move us humans around more efficiently than driving your average vehicle. For quite a few years now, it’s a per passenger km travelled comparison. If you are moving just one or two humans in a car… they’ll use more fuel per km than if they had flown in company of others in a modern passenger plane.


This campaign is very necessary and I think it is important to be extremely direct with the public that they are being misinformed on many matters. The best way to break people with ‘eco-anxiety’ (like I used to have as a 7 year old) is to dispel the lies that were used to exploit their emotions in the first place.


I just flew for the first time since 2013 and willingly for the first time since 2010. For me, the worst past of the experience is being looked at by law enforcement as a violent criminal suspect. Had it not been for winter weather, I would’ve driven across the U.S, yet again. As I have every year since 2013. The U.S. needs to get its security act together. And, treating honest citizens as criminal suspects is not the way to get public support for the U.S. airline industry. Flight Shaming in the U.S. begins with our government. Not a 16-year-old who shuns showers.


Greta is going to be SO disappointed when she is 37 and stlll alive.

Ken Hardy

Wow, this kid has got me so concerned about the Environment, I think I will burn all the material things I have and go live in the woods and eat berries, even then I may still have a carbon foot print but maybe Al Gore will sell me some credits

J Sharkey

I worked on my first campaign in 1960. A word of advice: Attacking Greta is a losing strategy. Better to be positive. What are you doing to make things better?

Bill M

You can’t fight ignorance. Besides, Canada was covered in ice 15000 yrs ago and it’s now moved 2000+km north. That’s more than 140 m a year – linear. Was that due to climate change or nature going thru it’s motions. There’s not enough data to confirm what’s going on but we still need to take care of our planet no matter what. Making wild guesses shouldn’t be part of that.


Greta is a little w***e of the power brokers behind the climate change lies.


flight shaming is ridiculous. realize that the the biggest promoters of the man made global warming hoax, the likes of Al Gore and many other politicians and the elites, fly all the time and on private jets. why would the average person make their life even more inconvenient while the elite continue on with giant carbon footprints. you are free to do it, but you’re being played as a fool. The reason the elite continue their carbon rich lifestyle goes beyond the obvious hypocrisy, many of them know it is a hoax. Most recently Obama’s supposed concern for rising oceans hasn’t stopped him from buying a multi-million dollar home on the ocean. Al Gore was never truly concerned about carbon emissions ruining the world or he would not be such a large contributor to that ruination.


Thank God. Now maybe I’ll have an open center seat on my next flight.

Wayne C Fox

I agree that the airline industry has a lot of work to do to help clean up the environment. In the US, I suspect that they have had an impact on the rail and bus lines. We have not seen the support of bullet type trains that could be an alternate to flying in the heavy travel corridors across the country. Trains and busses are a more comfortable form of travel than the typical cramped seating on aircraft that is affordable for the masses. Also, they offer a better environmental footprint than airlines. But countries like ours where travelers span longer distances the plane is more convenient from a time perspective.

Al Johnson

For the aviation industry I think we need to look at the costing that is already used by the commercial sector, PASSENGER COST PER MILE TRAVELLED.
There must be some formula to calculate the emissions of a jet engine derived from the fuel consumption of that aircraft. (I guess to simplify this, a rounding of the average fleet fuel burn to passenger mile could be used).

Now if this same criteria is used for Cars, Trains, ship’s etc, this could give a better comparison of what the critical usage is.

For the transport of goods one could use a similar approach as in Tonne per mile or Tonne per Kilometre.
I think this would give better comparison’s that just saying an A/C, Truck, Car or ship is producing this amount and therefore not good.

Don’t forget that Passenger A/C carry a lot of perishable freight that needs to get to market, such as Blueberries from Chile to Sweden at certain times of the year.

There is one major problem with carbon emissions, in this world from the start of formation of the earth, Carbon is the building block of our existence, 99% of ALL life forms on this planet are Carbon based. Without carbon we are dead. First all plant life gives us oxygen to survive. As we need the O2 and breathe out CO2 for the plants. I agree that there are plenty of pollutants out there that need to be and are capable of being cleaned, up but sorry Carbon being the main building block of life as we know it is NOT the Problem.

Donald Weston

The t****t of Ms Thunberg’s approach is the do-nothing verbosity of politicians who are anxiously guarding their own longevity with politically-correct phraseology. Action is what she seeks. While the Aviation Industry can do lots to clean up its own act, I see arguing with the fashion industry as a pointless irrelevant distraction and they need to proactively address wastage. Regrettably this costs $money$, as it implies a forced migration from inefficient T-category aircraft to modern, fuel efficient, and mileage-efficient planes (“pollution” per seat.mile)


What will stop flight shaming is the industry switching to renewable propulsion methods quickly. I am not an engineer, but I’ve heard hydrogen has the greatest potential. A bill currently in Congress, H.R. 763, would correct the economic incentives and needless subsidies for fossil fuels, so that whatever technology has the lowest emissions wins. That way politicians don’t have to choose: just make emissions expensive and the market will have us make the transition. The Solutions Project analyzed all renewable energy sources globally and determined we can do this, with existing technology. When airplanes don’t emit is when shaming will stop: easy peasy.


Ignore her and her handlers (parents?). They’ll be done with her soon enough. She’ll join the heap of other used-up kiddies.

Cameron Laing

Would be interest to see how Greta Thunberg justifies the one way flights required to take the crew of her ‘sailing boat’ back across the Atlantic? I would have thought even a schoolgirl would realise her 1 return flight would be better than the 4 one way flights for the crew and lets not get started on the environmental damage in the manufacture of the plastic monohull that took her to New York…


Yes, let’s take a bicycle from NY to LA for that face-ti-face meeting required. The puppeteers behind this 16 yo are do-nothings that expect everyone else to become do nothings. Lets carry goods from coast to coast by coolie in order to “save the world”. These idiots are a blight on humanity.

Yehuda Mond

There is no flight shaming. That’s baloney. The amount of people who will not fly as a result of this crazy teenager is maybe 100 – worldwide. Non-issue.
Now, when will the ultra-rich elites stop flying with their private airplanes? Hah. That’s a good one.


Not that it would make any difference to the “shamers”, that KC-135 shown in the article is not a current picture.
The engines have long since been upgraded to more efficient, lower smoke generating engines. Of course showing two pics, one then, one now wouldn’t help their agenda!


Another group attacking easy, deep pockets in hope of a big pay day. Shame on Greta!


Nobody likes this kid. She never even smiles.

Jeremy Watson

Why ‘tackle’ it? It has taken a ‘kid’ to make us adults wake up to the b****y obvious. The response needs to be how we reduce those emissions, not how to undermine Greta’s calling us out. Maybe we should be investing in efficient rail and shipping. A responsible aviation industry would see this as a challenge to move on to greater things rather than suppressing the criticism.

Whyn Carnie

Been waiting since UN started this warming climate coal will k**l us scam in mid1980s. Hope I live to see some measurable signs the dire predictions are realised. Where I live nothing has changed Except the greens are now linking our bushfires to climate as well.

Arthur Netteler

That little “SPOILED BRAT”, is going to cost the People of the World BILLIONS of DOLLARS. The “People” are going to have to stand up to these NUT CASE Liberals, if we do not they will ruin Nations Economies and MILLIONS of Jobs will be LOST.


Greta will need that raincoat, taking a small craft across the Atlantic as opposed to flying Business Class on BA or SAS. Ultimately, what is better for the environment: her joining 350 other people on a single widebody for the seven or eight hour journey, or taking a small vessel with a couple dozen people and spending 3 weeks (eating, drinking, and defecating) on the ocean. Keeping in mind that the majority of garbage in the oceans actually comes from shipping. Even small vessels litter, even inadvertently. Plastic straws from a ballgame in Milwaukee won’t end up in the sea, but one from Greta’s apple juice sure could.

This is all virtue signaling and (much like many of the “cures to climate change”), it is ridiculous and somewhat counter productive when investigated objectively.