How Polluting is Flying – How Polluting is your flight?

Revealed: The real cost of air travel

It might be cheap, but it’s going to cost the earth. The cut-price air ticket is fuelling a boom that will make controlling global warming impossible. (Adapted from the Independent Newspaper (London) front page leader on Sunday 28 May 2005.

Here are some examples of flights giving the environmental cost per passenger of a return flight from London to:

Miles: 288
Fuel: 48kg
Greenhouse gases: 452 kgCO2
Travelling by car & ferry is 13 times more considerate to the ozone layer, than going by plane.
Miles: 217
Fuel: 36kg
Greenhouse gases: 341 kgCO2
The greenhouse gas emitted paer passenger is equivalent to the weight of 179 Edam cheeses.
Miles: 714
Fuel: 120kg
Greenhouse gases: 1,122 kgCO2
The amount of carbon emitted is equivalent to the weight of 4 reindeer, and would be cut by 85% through travelling by car.
Miles: 636
Fuel: 107kg
Greenhouse gases: 1,000kgCO2
A train would have to travel from London to Madras and back before polluting the air as much as a 747’s return flight to Prague.
Miles: 705
Fuel: 119kg
Greenhouse gases: 1,109kgCO2
A trip by rail would emit 95% less greenhouse gas.
Miles: 212
Fuel: 35kg
Greenhouse gases: 333 kgCO2Catching Eurostar would release 40 times less global-warming pollutants.
Miles: 891
Fuel: 150kg
Greenhouse gases: 1,410kgCO2
A tourist could drive around on a scooter non-stop for more than 6 months and still produce fewer emissions.
Miles: 1,485
Fuel: 250kg
Greenhouse gases: 2,336kgCO2
After 1 trip a passenger would have to go without heating, cooking, lighting and mechnised transport for 2 years & 9 months to make up for their impact on the environment.
New York
Miles: 3,455
Fuel: 414kg
Greenhouse gases: 3,,863kgCO2
A visitor would have to take 700 two-hour bus tours of the Big Apple to emit the same amount of CO2 as on their flight.
Miles: 10,557
Fuel: 1196kg
Greenhouse gases:
The carbon emitted per passenger is equivalent to a mini driving around the world 640 times or the weight of four Indian elephants.
jet airplane 4Assumptions:
Based upon 80% occupancy of a Jumbo Jet DC 747. All greenhouse gases expressed as warming equivalent of CO2.
Source: Air Travel Calculator and United Nations Environment Programme.


You can also calculate the CO2 emissions generated by your flight here.

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