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Raising the public visibility of aviation emissions

5th May, 2022

In 2019, the Foundation for Integrated Transport commissioned AEF to provide a report estimating the emissions from flying and comparing the results with the emissions associated with common, everyday activities.

The aims of the project were to improve understanding of, and publicise, the climate change impact of aviation emissions; provide information on the climate change effects of flights of different lengths and in different seating classes; and make clear comparisons with emissions from other activities.

The report estimated that:

  • Taking a single long haul return flight from Birmingham to Delhi (emitting just over 1 tonne CO2 adjusted for additional climate impacts) would wipe out all the savings made by switching from moderate meat consumption to being vegan for a year.
  • Annual emissions per capita in the UK from driving are around 1 tonne CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a single long haul return flight.
  • Flying economy from London to Paris generates 27 times the CO2 emissions of making the same journey by Eurostar (53 kg compared with 2 kg for a one-way trip)
  • One return flight between Manchester and Southampton generates more emissions than running a tumble drier for a year (0.18 tonnes).
  • A return business class flight between the UK and Delhi generates more emissions (at just over 2 tonnes) than the annual average emissions per capita in India (1.8 tonnes).

Read the full report.