Norwegians’ holiday habits bad for the climate / News / The Foreigner

Norwegians’ holiday habits bad for the climate. Holiday-hungry Norwegians do more damage to the environment than in a whole year’s-worth of car journeys, environmental researchers say. According to CICERO staff, (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo) the air travel climate impact is about 2.5 times that of car transport for every kilometre driven. Home comforts The average Norwegian is in a car about 800 times annually. CO2 climate emissions impact on just one Oslo-London-Oslo flight equals roughly half a year of driving.

norwayclimate, c02emissions, globalwarming, greenhousegases



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Norwegians’ holiday habits bad for the climate

Published on Tuesday, 11th December, 2012 at 16:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 12th December 2012 at 14:38.

Holiday-hungry Norwegians do more damage to the environment than in a whole year’s-worth of car journeys, environmental researchers say.

Flight/car comparison illustration
Figure 1 compares a return trip Oslo-London with one year of car use for the average NorwegianFlight/car comparison illustration
Photo: Borgar Aamaas/CICERO


According to CICERO staff, (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo) the air travel climate impact is about 2.5 times that of car transport for every kilometre driven.

Home comforts

The average Norwegian is in a car about 800 times annually. CO2 climate emissions impact on just one Oslo-London-Oslo flight equals roughly half a year of driving.

CICERO Research Fellow Borgar Aamaas tells The Foreigner airplanes are more efficient and emit less to some degree, but the climate impact of Oslo-New York compared to Oslo-London means multiplying by about five.

“The distance to London is farther than 1,100 km, and about 2,000 km to Rome. Hence, the climate impact to Rome would almost double. The distance to New York is almost 6,000 km,” he adds.

So how else should people get to their holiday destinations?

“There are no practical or realistic substitutes for the remote holiday destinations. The substitute could be another destination that is accessible by train or ferry”, says Mr Aamaas.

“For a number of the holidays, it is the experience that matters, not to have been at this particular destination. For the medium distance destinations, such as Bergen, Trondheim, and Stockholm, taking the train is possible, just a bit more time consuming.”

Fellow researcher Dr Ilan Kelman suggests people consider so-called ‘staycations’ for environmental friendliness.

“The key is not to eliminate holiday travel entirely, though, but to balance it with other holiday activities at home,” he explains.

In the same boat

Taking the boat is another popular form of travel. However, plumes of diesel-driven engine smoke coming out of the stacks, especially when arriving at or leaving port often accompany this.

“Cruise ships and hotel resorts can be some of the worst, in terms of energy used, food thrown out, and water wasted”, declares Dr Kelman, “each tourist can use 4-7 times as much water as each local, in some drought-prone Mediterranean holiday islands.”

“The emissions of ships vary greatly depending on the usage. Freight transport with tankers is possibly the most environmentally friendly type of transport. On the other hand, fast moving ferries for person transport can have much larger emissions than car, even be worse than air in some cases,” Borgar Aamaas says.

What should people do, then?

“You could see this as an individual challenge and a structural challenge. On the personal level, avoiding unnecessary trips and try to go by train or bus instead is smart. Perhaps find a destination closer to home, even.”

Punitive measures

According to Dr Kelman, the solution is not to stop travel either.

“Choose travel modes which are not wasteful, but which are also part of the fun of the holiday.”

Another possibility is buying CO2 quotas for the trips that cannot be cancelled. At the same time, Mr Aamaas thinks the few that do succeed in living eco-friendly lives will not fix the problem, as most people will just continue with their old lifestyle.

“I think both the climate problem in general, and flying specific, is a structural problem.”

“Hence, this issue has to be solved by politicians. For instance, flying should be made more expensive or difficult. One idea is that you pay a tax on the actual climate impact that your travel caused,” he concludes.

How to interpret the illustration:

Block diagram one shows the annual number of Norwegians’ car trips as driver or passenger versus one Oslo-London-Oslo flight (counted as two trips).

The second shows the distances travelled in 1,000s of kilometres.

Per-billionth-degree Celsius temperature changes comprise the third block diagram.

Blue: Annual car use.
Red: Oslo-London return flight.



Published on Tuesday, 11th December, 2012 at 16:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 12th December 2012 at 14:38.

This post has the following tags: norwayclimate, c02emissions, globalwarming, greenhousegases.





  
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