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If you're from the UK, Ireland, the US, France or Germany, you'll have the impression that everyone flies. Not so. You're among the world's most frequent flyers. And therefore you have a special opportunity to make a big impact by cutting down on flying. 

Emissions from flying are intense and quickly add up. As a general rule a short haul flight emits 100kg CO2e per passenger per hour.

So a 2.5 hour return flight London to Naples will cause 0.5 tonnes CO2e per passenger.

By contrast, a first class passenger on a long haul flight is responsible for 300kgs CO2e per hour. So a ten hour long haul flight will clock up 3 tonnes CO2e or 6 tonnes return! 


The emissions you cause are dependent on the space you occupy in the plane. 


The take-off and landing fuel use has a big effect on a domestic flight's impact per km. So domestic flights should be avoided on all occasions. 

While short haul flights cause relatively the lowest impact per passenger km, these are also some of the easiest flights to replace with a train journey. 

The type of airplane as well as the weight of fuel impacts on the CO2e emissions of long haul flights to give them a higher impact per passenger km. 

Emissions from flying are not responsible for a large portion of total GHG emissions - yet. But these intense emissions are caused by a relatively small number of people.


Should other populations catch the US and European flying habit, then emissions from flying will sky rocket. 

Source: UK Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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