WORLD Majority of Germans reluctant to give up flying to cut emissions: poll


Majority of Germans reluctant to give up flying to cut emissions: poll


21:23, July 27, 2019

A passenger aircraft takes off from Tegel airport in Berlin, Germany, on Aug 16, 2017. (Photo: VCG)

BERLIN -- Two-thirds of Germans, both frequent flyers as well as those who flew less than twice a year, would not change anything about their flight behavior, according to the latest DeutschlandTrend survey published by public broadcaster ARD on Friday.

Almost every fourth German said they wanted to fly less in the future, the survey found.

Only eight percent of Germans surveyed flew three or more times a year. The majority of Germans, 63 percent, said they either flew rarely or not at all.

The survey found that 23 percent of Germans who travelled by plane at least once a year wanted to fly less in future, while 11 percent believed they would fly more frequently.

The global aviation industry contributes around two percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In order to reduce this impact, the German Green Party recently wrote in a position paper that they wanted to "make domestic flights largely obsolete" by 2035.

The survey did not suggest that this had a significant effect on public support for the German Green Party.

If German elections were held on Sunday, the Greens would still be tied with the conservative union CDU/CSU for the most votes at 26 percent, the survey found.

The Social Democrats (SPD) would gain 13 percent of votes while the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) would come in fourth with 12 percent.

The liberal FDP would be supported by nine percent of Germans while eight percent would vote for the Left Party, the survey found.

German Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze from the SPD recently said that a comprehensive climate protection package in Germany should include air traffic.

"It cannot be that on certain routes flying costs less than travelling by train," said Schulze.

"I am of the opinion that air traffic must also bear the costs of greenhouse gas emissions and that this must be reflected in air fares," the minister told the Rheinische Post.

However, Germany could not wait until an agreement had been reached at the European Union level, Schulze noted, adding she supported increasing the aviation levy "as a first step".

IATA figures show that civil aviation was responsible for 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

To draw attention to the climate impacts of flying, German students and pupils from the Fridays for Future climate movement were protesting at Stuttgart airport on Friday, the first time such a protest was held at a German airport.

"We want to point out that flying is terrible for the environment," said one of the organizers of the movement.

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