On Weds 20th November (7pm-9pm) Flight Free UK is holding a free event – ‘Aviation and the Climate Crisis’ – at Bridge 5 Mill in Ancoats. Full event details are on Eventbrite: www.flightfreemanchester.eventbrite.co.uk and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/936960989993874/
The event will explore the climate issues around aviation, including flight-free travel and the power of the individual to affect change. There will be four speakers, each giving their insights into the aviation industry and how we can solve the climate crisis. The presentations will be followed by a chance to ask questions to the panel.
Speakers will be Alice Larkin from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Anna Hughes from Flight Free UK, with others to be confirmed.
Flight Free UK is a grassroots campaign that asks 100,000 people to pledge not to fly in 2020 in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and begin to shift the social norm away from flying. The pledge site is here: www.flightfree.co.uk/pledge.
Anna from Flight Free UK answered MCFly’s questions – full interview below
When did the campaign start, and why?
The campaign launched back in February of this year. The idea came last November, after I heard an interview on BBC Radio with a Swedish lady who was running a similar campaign over there. I thought it sounded like a great idea and set up the UK version.
What does the campaign hope to achieve in 2020, and how does it intend to achieve it?
Specifically, we hope people will pledge to take a year off flying and stay on the ground in 2020, and we’re seeking 100,000 people to make that pledge. More generally, we want to raise awareness of the climate impact of aviation and get the issue into the public conscious. We want to start a conversation and contribute to a reduction in aviation.
What would you say to people who said “well, I have family in countries where the only way to get there is flying, and I am damned if I am not going to help my aged parents/be there for my cousin’s wedding” etc?
We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different, and we recognise that flying plays a significant part in our modern society. However, we also know that in 2017, 64% of flight were for leisure (ONS figures), and those are flights that can easily be replaced (especially if they are within Europe, which many are!)
What would you say to airport workers who face unemployment and losing their houses etc if aviation is curtailed?
Aviation is not the only industry that offers employment – and you only have to look at Thomas Cook to know that companies go bust all the time. Industry goes where consumers lead, and if there is a shift away from aviation, industry will follow. (There was an 8% drop in air bookings in Sweden in the early part of this year, but this hasn’t resulted in mass unemployment).
How can people get involved in your campaign?
People can sign up at our website: www.flightfree.co.uk They can also join the conversation at our social channels (links below)