The Swedish concept, known as flygskam in Swedish, is an environmental movement that seeks to encourage people to stop taking flights, with a view to lowering carbon emissions and protecting the planet.
The transition to clean, sustainable economies requires collaboration from all countries and sectors
The buzzword has been popularised by the likes of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg who, herself, has stopped flying.
In Sweden, in 2019, there was a four-per-cent drop in the number of people flying via its airports and a nine-per-cent drop in domestic travel. A similar trend has been observed in Germany, with the number of people flying between German cities having fallen by 12 per cent in November 2019 compared to a year earlier.
Although this might suggest that the flight shaming movement is gaining momentum, the rest of Europe is still witnessing an increase in the number of people flying ─ the EU figures overall rose to 1.1 billion passengers in 2018, up from one billion the year before.
According to the International Air Transport Association, current trends indicate that passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion by the year 2037. Good news for flight operators but bad news for our deteriorating planet. Although it’s important to remember that airplane transportation is part of a bigger picture ─ there are other fish to fry (or not, as the case may be) and the transition to clean, sustainable economies requires collaboration from all countries and sectors.