Aviation: moral arguments and climate equity

These papers take a close look at the climate equity issues relating to aviation, and the carbon emissions produced by a tiny proportion of the world’s population. 

  • Gössling, S. and Humpe, A. 2020. The global scale, distribution and growth of aviation: Implications for climate change. Global Environmental Change, 65, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102194
  • Gössling, S. and Humpe, A. (2023). Millionaire spending incompatible with 1.5°C ambitions. Cleaner Production Letters, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clpl.2022.100027
  • Higham, J.E.S., Hanna, P., Cohen, S., Gössling, S., Hopkins, D. & Cocolas, N. (2021). Reconfiguring aviation for a climate-safe future: Are airlines sending the wrong message? Journal of Travel Research.61(6):1458-1473. https://doi.org/10.1177/00472875211033648
  • Cohen, S., Liu, H., Hanna, P., Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S. & Gössling, S. (2021). The Rich Kids of Instagram: Luxury travel, transport modes and desire. Journal of Travel Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/00472875211037748
  • Jamal, T. & Higham, J.E.S. (2020). Justice and ethics: Towards a new platform for tourism sustainability. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 29(2&3): 143-157.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1835933
  • Oswald, Y., Owen, A., Steinberger, J.K. Large inequality in international and intranational energy footprints between income groups and across consumption categories. Nature Energy 5, 231-239 (2020). http://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-0579-8 
  • Gore, T. Carbon inequality in 2030. Per capita consumption emissions and the 1.5C goal. Oxfam International. 5 November 2021. (Link)
  • Hopkinson L and Cairns S (2020) Elite Status: global inequalities in flying. Report for Possible, March 2021. (Link)

A selection of relevant media coverage around climate inequity

The following articles include reference to studies/research and/or significant statements made by experts in relation to climate equity.

  • Airport expansion does not boost UK growth or productivity – report. Guardian (17 July 2023). Read it here.
  • One of the world’s biggest airports is on a quest to ban private jets. Stuff (8th May 2023). Read it here.
  • There needs to be a climate tax for frequent fliers. Time Magazine (4 May 2023). Read it here.
  • Elite minority of frequent flyers ’cause most of aviation’s climate damage’. The Guardian. (31 March 2021). Read it here.
  • Climate crisis ‘threatens rule of law and civilisation’, lawyers warn, in call to end fossil fuel links. The Independent (15 September 2022). Read it here.
  • Too Hot to Handle: How Climate Change May Make Some Places Too Hot to Live.  Ask Nasa Climate (9 March 2022). Read it here.
  • Three degrees of global warming is quite plausible and truly disastrous. The Economist (24 July 2021). Read it here.
  • Climate change soon to cause movement of 140m people, World Bank warns. The Guardian (19 March 2018). Read it here.
  • Does climate change cause conflict? IGC Blog (7 June 2021). Read it here.
  • “Intolerable Tide” Of People Displaced By Climate Change: UN Expert. (Scoop) 24th June 2023. Read it here.

Access research topics here:

  • Back to Research Index home page (click here)
  • The big picture – the challenge of climate change and aviation emissions (click here)
  • Aotearoa’s tourism sector grapples with sustainability (click here)
  • The aviation industry’s biggest challenge (click here)
  • “Low carbon aviation”: aviation efficiency and technology myths (click here)
  • Aviation: moral arguments and climate equity (click here)
  • Policy considerations to reduce carbon emissions (click here)
  • Infrastructure trajectories with positive long term outcomes (click here)
  • Behavioural and attitudinal change to reduce emissions (click here)
  • Economic consequences of (in)action on climate change (click here)

Suggest amendments

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