Families told: Cut holidays abroad to help meet climate change targets

Ruth Doherty

Families told: Cut holidays abroad to help meet climate change targets
Families told: Cut holidays abroad to help meet climate change targets


Families should cut the number of holidays they take abroad to meet Britain's climate change targets, according to a new Government report.

The Department for Transport was set a target to reduce aviation's Co2 emissions to 2005 levels by 2050.

This target is currently under review by the Coalition, and the DfT hired consultants EMRC and AEA to help them look into the best ways of achieving it.

They highlighted our beloved annual sun, sea and sand getaway as an area for improvement.

According to the Telegraph, they told ministers: 'There is a range of potential measures to voluntarily reduce the demand for air travel through the promotion of behavioural change that could be targeted at passengers.

'These include increasing awareness of the carbon footprint associated with air travel, encouraging fewer overseas holidays.'

The proposals have produced mixed reactions, with environmental groups saying it's not a tough enough stand, and travel executives up in arms that it would be a manipulation of our free will.

Simon Buck, the chief executive of the British Air Transport Association.

'What we are talking about here is the Government shaming people into not flying away on holiday.

'Is it right to make people feel guilty for taking an annual sunshine break? Where is it going to stop? Will we be told what car we should drive and how many children we should have.'

But Jean Leston, Acting Head of Transport Policy at WWF-UK, thinks it's not enough.

'It's a shame that the Government has not taken this opportunity to set a UK target on aviation emissions.

'Our efforts to tackle climate change rely on aviation making real reductions. The Government's indecision will only lead to more confusion and allow airport expansion to continue.'

In the ten years between 1999 and 2009, the number of Brits heading abroad actually fell naturally by 2.1%, with a big factor for this being attributed to the popularity of the Channel Tunnel, with belt-tightening following the recession also seeing an impact of British foreign travel this year.

Other ideas suggested by the consultants to meet the aviation climate change targets included 'increased use of biofuels, more efficient aircraft engines and improved air traffic control to cut the time planes spend in the air', according to the report in the Telegraph.