Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Most People in the UK Back Limits on Flying to Tackle Climate Crisis

Climate
Most People in the UK Back Limits on Flying to Tackle Climate Crisis
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.


Amid a backdrop of protests against aviation expansion and the rise of the Swedish flygskam (flight shame) movement, in a poll of 2000 adults, 28.2 percent said air travel should definitely be limited, with 38.7 percent saying it should probably be restricted. Just 22.2 percent felt there was no need for limits, and 10.8 percent said they did not know.

The poll was conducted by YouGov for the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, an academic research collaboration in the UK. It comes after campaigners were arrested last week for plans to fly drones near Heathrow airport. The Heathrow Pause group says the green light for a third runway at Heathrow is a "dangerous folly" due to its climate impact.

Lorraine Whitmarsh at Cardiff University and Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations says that more than two-thirds of people supporting limits on air travel is higher than she expected, and signals a shift in social attitudes. "Just a few years ago when we asked people if they were willing to reduce their flying, most people were negative about that," she says.

She says her research suggests that attitudes are changing due to increased exposure to media coverage of climate change and perceptions that extreme weather events are becoming more common.

The polling also found that 48 percent of people had become more worried about climate change in the past year, up from around a quarter when the question was asked in 2014. Reducing meat consumption was less popular than curtailing flights, with 53 percent supporting eating less meat to tackle climate change.

Whether people will actually do it remains to be seen. A recent years-long study of Europeans found people tend to opt for small climate actions such as driving more efficiently rather than taking fewer long-distance flights.

This story originally appeared in New Scientist. It is republished here as part of EcoWatch's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Demonstrators from several environmental groups including Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement demand broad action at a youth-led climate strike near City Hall on December 6, 2019 in New York City. Scott Heins / Getty Images

By Jacob Wallace

This story is published as part of StudentNation's "Vision 2020: Election Stories From the Next Generation" reports from young journalists that center the concerns of diverse young voters. In this project, working with Dr. Sherri Williams, we recruited young journalists from different backgrounds to develop story ideas and reporting about their peers' concerns ahead of the most important election of our lives. We'll continue publishing two stories each week over the course of September.

In the speech she gave at the People's Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, "This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue, this is an immigration issue, this is a feminist issue."

Read More Show Less
Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., places a flag at the COVID Memorial Project's interfaith memorial service to honor the 200,000 people who died due to coronavirus on the National Mall on Sept. 22, 2020. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

The United States passed 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday and experts warn that number may double before the end of the year as an autumn surge in cases starts, according to USA Today.

Read More Show Less
People Have the Power - VOTE 2020

Climate-action nonprofit Pathway to Paris first launched in 2014 with an "intimate evening" of music and conversation after the People's Climate March in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch