Monday, June 30, 2008

“Flying's a wonderful thing”

. . . that was the title of a short promotional video that was shown on my Malev Hungarian Airlines flight to Budapest this morning.

Although apparently produced by IATA, I hadn't seen it on any other airlines before - which is a pity because it contained one very thought-provoking message. And that was that although the world's airlines are responsible for two per cent of the world's carbon emissions, their activities account for eight per cent of the world's economic activity.

Those are interesting figures because the first is lower than I thought it would be and the second is higher. If the figures are right, there must be a lot of other industries where the percentage of carbon emissions produced is higher than their contribution to the world economy. I wonder if anyone has ever analysed the ratio between each industry’s percentage of carbon omissions and their percentage contribution to the world economy. It would make interesting reading and perhaps show which industries should be targeted most for carbon emission reductions.

The video also mentioned that airlines employed 32 million people around the globe – that was also a surprisingly high figure. I hope IATA are being honest in their counting and not inflating figures in an effort to justify their carbon emissions.

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