Trains, planes and buses require energy to move. The production and combustion of that energy emits more or less greenhouse gases. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas.
Flying: is it the most polluting form of transport?
It depends on the distance travelled! The further you go, the greater the emissions. For short distances, it is better to choose a less polluting mode of transport: train, bus or carpooling.
You can filter the offers to find the flights that have the lowest emissions and are the least expensive.
For each flight offer, find the greenhouse gas emissions, calculated in kilograms of CO2e (=kg of carbon equivalent).
With the help of Carbone 4, the leading consultancy firm on climate strategy, we have developed a calculation model to compare the emissions of different modes of transport.
If there is a stopover, then each route is considered and calculated separately. Take-off and landing are when an aircraft uses up the most fuel, which means it is important to consider two take-offs and two landings in case of a stopover. Thus, a direct flight always produces less emissions than a flight with a stopover.
When it comes to flights, it is important to note that only the greenhouse gas emissions from the production and combustion of kerosene have been taken into account. The effects on radiative forcing due to contrails and high altitude cirrus clouds have not been calculated, but can almost double a flights impact on the climate.
The end result is an average value of the emissions produced by the journey with the selected mode of transport. For the time being, this method does not take into account specific aircraft, train or bus models, nor does it account for the effects of any efforts made by the companies that create them. The specific load factor for each journey is not taken into account; the method is based on the average load factors observed for the different modes of transport.
Thus, this calculation is not intended to give you the exact value, but rather a general sense of the impact of your journey. The goal is to help you choose between several different modes of transportation or between non-stop and flights that include stopovers.
We are currently working on a more detailed method, which will be able to differentiate between airlines.
It is important to be aware of the negative effects of our travels on the environment. Every trip emits CO2 , which will remain in the atmosphere for centuries. In order to limit our impact on the climate, we must make the most responsible travel choices possible: low-carbon modes of transport, wise choices of destination, and questioning what travel means to us. Alongside these choices, it is also possible to contribute financially to projects that will have a positive impact on the climate.
The carbon credit system allows you to finance projects that will either absorb CO2 or prevent new greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere. The amount of emissions absorbed or avoided is verified every year.
The average carbon footprint of a French person is currently 11 tons of CO2 e per year. This includes activities as well as products, industries, transport and everything else necessary for the life of a French person.
To limit global warming to 2°C, we need to reduce our emissions to 2 tonnes of CO2e per person per year by 2050. If we don't take up the challenge, we are more likely to increase the temperature of the planet by around 7 or 8°C, according to the IPCC.
To find out how to reduce your impact while travelling, you can check out our article : The tourism industry is committed to helping climate change
To find ideas about what you can do and information on how to reduce your carbon footprint at your own pace, consult the pages below:
It starts with me
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5 eco-friendly actions to do on a daily basis