Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson: “I think you're on a very dangerous path when you say, ‘No, you should not fly'." Credit: The National.

Sweden has a name for a growing trend that has some air travelers feeling guilty about their carbon footprint: flygskam, or flight shame.

Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion and activists such as 16-year-old Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg are fuelling the flight-shame push by highlighting aviation’s role in global warming.

Citigroup predicts that flight shaming will raise costs for airlines, consumers and companies.

But one of Sweden’s best-known citizens is not a fan of the rising push to discourage travel, according to a report by Douglas Bolduc of Automotive News Europe.

“I think you’re on a very dangerous path when you say, ‘No, you should not fly,’ ” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said recently. “One of the most important factors to promote cultural understanding between people is travel.”

Volvo’s answer is to make traveling by car sustainable, which is why it plans to launch one electric vehicle annually until 2025, starting next year with the full-electric XC40 Recharge.

While automakers such as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen are moving to electrify a wide range of models the aviation industry continues to warn that reducing carbon emissions will take years, if not decades.

Samuelsson believes more could be done.

“Couldn’t Airbus and Boeing and others try to do something to make sustainable air travel a part of their mission?” he asked.

He said “symbolic pledges” to try to help achieve the Paris Climate Agreement such as reducing air travel or questioning economic growth are the wrong way to go.

Added Samuelsson: “We should recognize that if a market-driven enterprise is done the right way it should result in true sustainability.”

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has sparked worldwide concern over global warming. Credit: EurActiv.

According to Simple Flying, the aviation industry is set to launch a campaign to combat the growing flight shaming movement led by Thunberg. The campaign comes as weakened demand has been reported in Europe.

The flight shaming movement is growing in momentum across Europe. The movement sees passengers shunning flights for other methods of transport such as trains and cars, the report said.

The aviation industry is responsible for just 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. However, despite giving off fewer emissions than other industries, and trying to make a positive difference, the aviation industry has become the face of emissions across the globe.

This compares to around 10% from the global fashion industry according to the United Nations, the report said.

Citi estimates that over the next five years the cost of carbon offsetting economy flights will grow to US$3.8 billion per year. It will either be absorbed by the consumer or the airline, CNBC reported.

But really the airline gets hit in both scenarios since if the price is absorbed by passengers, the higher cost could lead to an overall slowdown in air travel.

Álex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways, which last week promised to offset all domestic flight emissions, said the airline would make it easier for customers to voluntarily offset international flights, The Guardian reported.

He said there were “huge areas of opportunity” to cut emissions via better air traffic management, while changes such as lighter food trolleys on BA’s fleet had cut 30,000 tons a year of CO2 emissions.

Virgin’s new feeder airline, Virgin Connect (formerly Flybe), could axe some routes over environmental concerns, its boss suggested. Mark Anderson, the chief executive of the parent company Connect Airways, said it might decide certain journeys made more sense by train or car.

He told PA news agency: “We need to be responsible. Maybe there are some routes in the future that we will potentially not fly.”

Join the Conversation


  1. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve have in mind your stuff previous to and you are
    just extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired right
    here, certainly like what you are stating and
    the way in which through which you assert it. You are making it enjoyable
    and you continue to take care of to stay it wise. I can’t wait to learn much more
    from you. That is really a tremendous website.

  2. Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having
    a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  3. Тhank you for another informative web site.
    Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way?
    I’ve a challenge that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

  4. May I simply just say what a comfort to uncover someone that actually knows what they are talking about on the net. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people have to look at this and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

  5. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector do not realize this.You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already! i want to invite all of you to visit my site.

  6. Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make critically posts I would state.
    That is the first time I frequented your web page and up to now?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this actual
    publish amazing. Great process!

  7. really nice

    This is as a matter of fact good tidings my friend. you are a very good writer . i hunger to dividend with you my website as well. command me what do you contemplate approximately it

    buy youtube views

    Thankyou again for posting such good content. Cheers

  8. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell
    and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  9. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now 😉

  10. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful info to work on. You’ve performed a formidable job and our whole group might be grateful to you.

  11. I am not positive where you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I must spend a while learning more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for excellent info I used to be on the lookout
    for this information for my mission.

  12. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you
    share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  13. I was more than happy to search out this net-site.I needed to thanks in your time for this wonderful learn!! I undoubtedly enjoying each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to check out new stuff you weblog post.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *