Greenhouse gas emissions from UK air travel doubled between 1990 and 2005, and have remained at about the same level since then. Aviation currently accounts for 22% of carbon emissions associated with UK transport. A key problem is that it is difficult to decarbonise air travel. There is only limited scope for efficiency savings and using biofuels in aircraft, and so a big reduction in air travel is inevitable if we are to reduce our carbon emissions. In our Zero Carbon Britain report we calculate that the total amount of flying by UK residents will need to fall to a third of the current level if we are to reach a 'zero carbon' society.
Cutting down the number of flights you take will cut tonnes from your carbon emissions. There are alternatives: short-haul air flights give off 4½ times as much carbon dioxide as the same journey by train, and the channel tunnel leads to high-speed rail links all over Europe, so why not take advantage?