Climate Change: 3 travel tips to help reach net-zero emissions by 2050

A easyjet Airbus A 320-214  aircraft is pictured on the taxi way at Airport Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss International on April 03, 2019 in Munich, Germany.

The Committee on Climate Change has published a report and given recommendations on reducing emissions when travelling.

Climate change is an issue which has jumped to the forefront of the public's attention in recent months. Protests from Extinction Rebellion, vogue Vegan populism, increased airtime from the media and the rise in fame of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg are all factors helping climate change activists' cause.

Indeed, the Green Party's success in the recent local elections (where they gained nearly 200 councillors) suggests that the tide is turning - metaphorically speaking, at least for now.

The Committee on Climate Change has now published a report claiming the UK can become world leaders by cutting greenhouse gases to nearly net zero by 2050.

In the report, the CCC suggests various ways that we, as individuals, can cut out emissions. A seismic shift in public behaviour could aid the fight against climate change.

We take a look at the CCC's three travel recommendations and weigh up the feasibility of each.

Car alternatives

A general view of a no entry except cycles road sign on January 28, 2019 in London, England.

The CCC saysChoose to walk and cycle or take public transport in preference to a car.

Public transport has long been touted as the most environmentally-friendly way to travel. Rather than taking your car into work, commuters should seek an alternative route via the bus or train.

Better still, avoiding all types of roadway transport is preferable. If possible, walking or cycling not only helps the environment but contributes towards a healthier life through exercise.

If travelling by car is necessary, carpool is advised. In some countries, there are dedicated lanes for vehicles carrying more people. Unnecessary use of the car, when alternatives are available, is a needless yet quotidian contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric cars

January 20, 2019 - Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States - A Tesla electric car is seen parked at a charging station in Altamonte Springs, Florida on January 20, 2019. Tesla has raised...

The CCC saysMake your next car an electric one, and then charge it 'smartly'.

Reducing the number of cars on the road is one way of tackling greenhouse gas emissions. But what if there was a way to still use cars but continue to reduce emissions?

Electric cars are supposedly the future but the infrastructure needs to be in place to allow for the transition from petrol and diesel-powered cars.

The logistical problem with electric cars is charging them; it's a lengthy and expensive process and charging ports are not readily accessible at the moment.

If drivers are able to charge their cars from home, then electric cars would surge in popularity. The electricity, of course, also needs to be from a renewable source.

Minimise flying

British Airways Airbus A320-200 with registration G-EUUO landing at Luxembourg Findel International Airport LUX ELLX in the blue sky. BA connects Luxembourg city to London Heathrow...

The CCC saysMinimise flying, especially long-haul, where possible.

The report's guidance on flying is vague. The terms 'minimise' and 'where possible' suggest that alternatives should be sought.

But the report also makes a point of noting that long-haul flights are the most harmful to the environment. However, there are no alternatives for most long-haul flights. So does the CCC suggest that holidays and business trips should be avoided altogether?

Extinction Rebellion recently protested at Heathrow airport, highlighting the need to reduce aeroplane use in the battle against climate change.

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