· The mass tourism model focused on hypermobility constitutes a risk element for the spread and outbreaks of COVID-19.
· The airplane is the most damaging means of transport for climate change and one of the sources of greenhouse gas emissions that experiences a faster growth with an increase of 26% in the period 2013-2019.
· With the arrival of the holiday period and the end of the state of alarm, Ecologistas en Acción launches a campaign to encourage local tourism and the use of sustainable means of transport.
With the arrival of summer and the lifting of the state of alarm, many people are beginning to plan their summer vacations. The reopening of borders with EU member states (including the United Kingdom and the Schengen countries), as well as pressure from the mass tourism sector to return to pre-crisis levels of activity, predict an exponential increase in the number of flights. Faced with this possibility, Ecologistas en Acción launches its #VeranoSinAviones campaign, with which it wants to promote sustainable forms of mobility and tourism from environmental, social and health points of view.
As has been seen over the past months, aviation and the hypermobility model promoted by the industry have been one of the main causes of the speed and globality in the transmission of the disease. Something that could be repeated now with the arrival of the holidays. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, “Travel and tourism could increase the risk of amplification of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in at least two ways. The first has to do with the mobility of people and the risk of transmission after arrival at the destination, and the second with the gathering of people in places such as airports, tourist complexes and similar sites ”.
On the other hand, the combination of tourism and aviation represents a sector of activity with a very high global environmental impact. Between 2009 and 2013, the sector's carbon footprint grew from 3.9 to 4.5 gigatons of CO2, which represents 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Within this tourism model, air transport represents most of the sector's carbon footprint. In 2018, more than half of all international flights were related to tourism, according to data from the World Tourism Organization.
In the midst of this scenario, Ecologists in Action launches the #VeranoSinAviones campaign. Its objective is to offer sustainable and safe mobility and tourism alternatives in a context of climate emergency and risk of outbreaks of the coronavirus pandemic.
“If we want to build a new normal that is fairer and takes better care of people and the planet, we must change the way we do things. Starting with our way of traveling and relating to the environment, ”says Pablo Muñoz, head of the aviation campaign at Ecologistas en Acción. “Society demands a new, more just and ecological rationality in the way of moving. In this sense, it is essential to significantly reduce the number of flights ”.
Through the #VeranoSinAviones campaign, Ecologistas en Acción wants to highlight the existence of alternatives to the plane and mass tourism as a way of planning our summer. The initiative promotes proximity tourism to discover, through sustainable means such as the train or bicycle, unexplored and surprising corners. In this way, it also contributes to the economic development of territories through which the plane only passes by.
In addition, the initiative wants to make visible the important role played by those people who have decided to stop flying or reduce their flights. To do this, the campaign seeks the active involvement of citizens by signing a ‘commitment’ not to fly in order to reduce the impact of this means of transport on people and the planet.
This initiative is part of a broader campaign called ‘Stay on the ground’, through which the environmental organization and the Stay Grounded network promote the decrease in aviation and the construction of a fairer and more sustainable mobility system.
Pablo Muñoz Nieto, head of the aviation campaign at Ecologistas en Acción, 699 185 413.
Nuria Blázquez, Transportation Coordinator at Ecologistas en Acción, 660 306 931.
In the web: www.ecologistasenaccion.org/146506