Yesterday's Independent carried a tiny story on the government's exploration into the possibility of rationing individual's flights as part of its carbon reduction strategy. (I would reference this story properly, however I left my copy of the paper on the floor of the Harcourt Arms following the kick off to this year's Melodifestivalen heats - that is another tale to a completely bizarre experience altogether!).

Enter the latest mixed message. Amidst insistence on a new runway for Heathrow, and after years of encouraging the population to travel with cut price airlines, the strategy to reverse the mass consumption our society has created is apparently through rationing.

We know that aviation is responsible for a sizable chunk of our carbon emissions. But we also know that the biggest area of concern is domestic and business energy consumption. So will enforcing travel restrictions make a difference? 

I now make conscious decisions on when and how to travel. And with family on the other side of the world, it is very difficult to not keep in touch without flying. A decision like rationing will never be supported or enforceable - if people need to fly, they will find a way. If we are to meet our reduction targets it will have to be done by changing people's behaviour to take responsibility for their overall consumption. And the government needs to support this by investing in technology, renewable energy, and encouraging more sustainable behaviour through making better choices - not through force.

No comments: