The Elephant in the Room

If we are talking about Scope 3 emissions, surely we have to confront our Island's reliance on air travel? Whether it is for personal or business purposes, Jersey people fly an awful lot. Indeed, our whole toursim industry is not built around the short break, in which people from the UK fly to Jersey for a short stay. It is well know that 1% of travellers cause 50% of the global aviation emisions. I would suggest a disproprortionate number of people in Jersey fall into that 1%.

How can we reduce our reliance on air travel? Better ferry links? Greater connectivity with the high-speed rail network in St Malo? Encouraging businesses to limit "single day/purpose" trips, e.g. to London and the use of Zoom/Teams whereever possible?

Why the contribution is important

Although still a relatively small contributor to CO2 emissions globally, air travel is growing (or was, pre-COVID). Currently it accounts for around 3.5% of GHG when you factor in "radiative forcing" (since aircraft emissions actually have a far greater impact on climate change than just CO2/greenhouse gas emissions at ground level).  

by Dp20 on March 04, 2021 at 09:32AM

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  • Posted by Dp20 March 04, 2021 at 09:34

    Sorry that should read "Indeed, our whole tourism industry is NOW built around the short break,"
  • Posted by Jerriaisjanne March 04, 2021 at 18:29

    The woes of 110,000 people living on a small island. It would be interesting to see the emissions difference of taking a plane to Heathrow/Gatwick + train to London vs a ferry + train to Central London. Jersey should look into being a test bed for zero emission (or low emission) air/marine transport.

    I definitely think we need to move away from short-term unnecessary travel like business trips - the whole fly out on the red eye and back on the last flight in model is not really too good!

    This is of course where the ideas about a tunnel/bridge to France don't seem as insane as they are. It could be combined with the production of tidal power. That said, the construction alone could cause obscene amount of costs and emissions and I'm not sure how feasible it would be as a replacement for air travel. Most of the links to Jersey are to the UK and not France after all.
  • Posted by brucecarnegie March 05, 2021 at 17:01

    Apparently the enormous aviation industry couldn't be limited or restricted. "You can't stop people flying" (or a few big aviation companies posting multi billion dollar profits on an annual basis whilst offering only the vaguest platitudes to the climate crisis and a spot of greenwashing here and there) just because of the damage caused from emissions, especially deposits at altitude.

    Turns out all we needed was a pandemic to put a stop to all that.

    Interesting to note how badly the aviation industry failed to future proof themselves.

    It will also be very interesting to find out any scientific analysis of the difference that a significant drop in global air traffic will have generated. Not necessarily in the long term but perhaps the absence of extensive contrails reducing any insulating effects on overnight temperatures for example.

    With everyone in a hurry to open up national and international travel now is a fantastic opportunity to jump back to square one, re-evaluate and apply some form of tariff system on frequent flyers (like air miles reward the frequent flyer, but in reverse) and subject the aviation industry to ingrained regulations regarding their environmental responsibilities by allocating routes etc accordingly.

    And as for "important business people" having to make that essential transatlantic trip to secure the deal ... Well if they can't do it on Zoom by now they probably not as good as they make out on their CV.
  • Posted by Shanti March 06, 2021 at 21:41

    Yes, frequent flyer penalty (restrictions on flights) would be a good idea.
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