Britain's Cheap Air Travel Seriously Impacts Global Warming

British emissions of C02 from aircraft, expressed in millions of tons of carbon, shot up from 4.6 million tons in 1990 to 8.8 million tons in 2000.

Published: 28-May-2005

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It might be cheap, but it's going to cost the earth. The cut-price airline ticket is fuelling a boom that will make countering global warming impossible.

The tens of thousands of Britons jetting off on cheap flights this weekend have been given graphic reminders by leading green groups that the huge surge in mass air travel is becoming one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Unless the boom in cheap flights is halted, say Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, Britain and other countries will simply not be able to meet targets for cutting back on the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) that are causing the atmosphere to warm, with potentially disastrous consequences. In spelling out what is for most people - and for many politicians - a very uncomfortable truth, they are echoing the warnings of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.

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CO2 emissions information is already required on all new cars in Europe; a 2005 California law mandates similar information be provided on all cars starting in the 2009 model year.

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