Peter Paul Vossepoel, campaigner of Zomer Zonder Vliegen (Summer Without Flying), an awareness raising campaign on the climate impact of avation, unanticipatedly took the stage today at the Airlines for Europe Summit 2019 in Brussels. The event brought together Europe’s leading airline CEOs and global aviation leaders to discuss innovations, technologies and working practices to deliver a more profitable, and customer-centric future to the industry. Peter Paul wasn’t allowed to finish our whole statement. You can read the whole statement here.
Today I am here to ask you: please take into account aviation is the most climate damaging form of transport and one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions!
I understand that it’s your job as airlines’ CEO’s to maximize profits, without taking into account the devastating consequences of your business. I strongly urge you to be concerned about the people suffering from the effects of climate change, today and in the future! While less than 10% of the world population have ever set foot on an aircraft, it is mostly non-flyers who bear the brunt of the climate crisis and the negative effects of airport expansion like land grabbing, noise and health issues. Communities in the Global South, which have barely contributed to the crisis, are affected most. Be part of the solution, not the problem and choose for the many who are suffering the consequences of climate change, not the few who benefit the profits. Climate justice now, STAY GROUNDED!
Don’t forget: we are in the midst of climate breakdown, and instead of maintaining business as usual, we should declare a climate emergency and reduce the number of flights drastically! Less flying is the only solution, we need to STAY GROUNDED!
I adress Panel 1 and mister Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM. This morning you’ve talked on how European airlines are transforming themselves to thrive despite threats to their competitiveness, you should have been talking about how the European transport system can evolve into a more sustainable and just transport system. Talk about system change, instead of causing climate change!
Panel 2 and mister Johan Lundgren, CEO of Easyjet, this afternoon you will be talking on the environmental impact of European airspace inefficiencies, you better should stop denying the environmental impact of growing numbers of passengers!
Panel 3 and mister O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, you will discuss a future vision for European Aviation, you’d better talk about what you can do to reduce the number of flights, what you can do to get people into trains instead of planes and to get your employees ready for the transition!
I don’t hesitate to repeat, because this is so important: we are in the midst of climate breakdown, and instead of pretending all that matters is doing business as usual, we must declare the climate in a state of emergency and substantially reduce the number of flights immediately! Less flying is the only solution, we need to STAY GROUNDED!
Thank you, have a nice day!
— Sander van Mersbergen (@Mersbergen) March 6, 2019