World Travel and Tourism Organisation dismisses industry greenwash

A recent report for the UN World Travel and Tourism Organisation - entitled Climate change and tourism - responding to global challenges, has been exploring how tourism (and aviation) is affecting CO2 levels and climate change.

Unsurprisingly, it reached a conclusion which would not look out of place on our agitprop: "While there are many options to reduce emissions [in the tourism sector], by far the greatest potential is related to air travel; reducing flight numbers and flight distances will achieve more to make tourism more sustainable than most other measures taken together."

Put's Branson's "I'll fly my jets on chip-fat" claims into perspective somewhat, doesn't it...

Ruth Kelly in live webchat

Transport Minister Ruth Kelly will be appearing in a live webchat at 10am on the 20th of September.

It's a good opportunity to ask her how the Government plans to reconcile its climate change targets with aviation expansion. Register at http://www.webchat.pm.gov.uk/index.asp?webchatID=52.

No egg throwing, now...

More expansion = more emissions

Regional airports might not get too much media attention, but rest assured - they're dead keen on expansion. And being out of the public eye means they often get away with the most ridiculous claims - as this latest humdinger should demonstrate.

This gibberish started with Southampton Airport and now Bristol International Airport is following suit. They're claiming that expanding regional airports means a gross reduction in CO2, because instead of driving to the nearest long-haul shopping mall, people will fly from whichever airport is closest too them.

Dave: It’s the Vulcan – or everything else

It is quite clear that the messages from Plane Stupid and the growing climate movement are starting to permeate the Westminster village.

Just two years ago, who ever talked about aviation and global warming? Now - it’s not only at the frontline of the environmental debate; it’s even at the forefront of parliamentary politics.

No shit, the climate matters

Say what you like about the aviation industry, it's never short of a good junket. Seems like every week a new bunch of businessmen crawl out of the woodwork pleading that aviation is being unfairly demonised for pumping tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The latest lobbyists to be paid lots and lots of money to persuade you that flying is super are Flying Matters, who claim that "Flying is no longer a luxury reserved for a privileged elite", because 50% of people flew at least once last year.

What they decline to mention is that the Mori Poll they're quoting, entitled Climate Change and Taxing Air Travel, shows a widespread support for reducing aviation growth.

Aviation growth = more emissions

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Barely a week goes by without an overpaid executive from some beleagured corner of the aviation industry getting confused about industry growth, efficiency and emissions.

This week it's the turn of World Travel and Tourism Council president Jean-Claude Baumgarten, who urged immediate action on congestion at the UK's airports, saying that the UK needed “to get its act together."