Air travel/transport is in danger of becoming to be regarded as ‘intrinsically evil’ which I personally think is completely the wrong reaction to the problems it no doubt currently poses in its current form. I do not think abolishing air travel and replacing it with 19th century slow travel alternatives is a sustainable answer.
As I tried to argue over a decade ago (“Food Miles or Poverty Eradication? The moral duty to eat African strawberries at Christmas’) Abolishing air transport would also have disproportionate negative impacts on those who rely on it to sell their agricultural produce to the globally more affluent.
What we need is not to abolish air travel/transport but to make it more sustainable, not just by offsetting, but by switching to renewable energy based planes and by supporting the poorest and most vulnerable globally in their efforts to build resilience against residual impacts, as proposed in the Corporate Air Passenger Solidarity initiative.
Professor Benito Müller, Managing Director,
Convener International Climate Policy Research, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford;