Passengers’ environmental awareness and travel behaviour

Passengers’ travel behaviour can be influenced by various factors, such as disposable income, travel purpose, age group or technological affinity (see also #blogpost7 Passengers expectations: door-to-door travel and beyond). One of these influential factors is the environmental awareness of passengers and in which way it impacts – or even alters – travel behaviour.

Air transportation emits greenhouse gases and hence has a potential harmful effect on our environment in the form of CO2 emissions, for example. Passengers contribute to this by their choice of means of transport, their choice of holiday destinations and kilometres travelled (Cohen and Higham, 2011; Brouwer et al., 2008).

Overall, air travel passengers seem to have a basic understanding of the environmental impact and many also have pro-environmental values. However, according to several studies it does not result into behaviour changes of passengers yet. It is hence not a factor influencing their holiday planning, the choice of a destination and the type of transportation (Hares et al., 2009; Böhler et al., 2006). Research also reveals that the willingness of passengers to pay for carbon offsetting schemes, one possibility to neutralize emissions generated by one’s own journey without compromising the means of transport or influencing the decision on holiday destinations, is low as well (Eijgelaar, 2009; Mair, 2011).

The three main barriers towards pro-environmental behaviour change are a lack of alternative transport systems, the high value of holidays with the freedom to travel to every destination one wants, and the lack of feeling personal responsibility for climate change (Hares et al., 2009; Böhler et al., 2006). However, within some recent studies, evidence emerged showing an increasingly pro-environmental awareness in passengers’ mind-set and a willingness to actually change air travel behaviour in the future (Cohen and Higham, 2011; Gössling et al., 2009).

To sum up, environmental awareness among passengers seems to be already present but does not lead to current behaviour changes. This, among other factors, will be explored within DATASET2050 and it will be modelled how such drivers influence the travel demand of air transport passengers in the future.

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References

  • Böhler, S., Grischkat, S., Haustein, S. and Hunecke, M., 2006. Encouraging environmentally sustainable holiday travel. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 40(8), 652-670.
  • Brouwer, R., Brander, L. and Van Beukering, P., 2008, “A convenient truth”: air travel passengers‟ willingness to pay to offset their CO2 emissions, Climatic Change, 90(3), 299-313.
  • Cohen, S.A. and Higham, J.E., 2011, Eyes wide shut? UK consumer perceptions on aviation climate impacts and travel decisions to New Zealand, Current Issues in Tourism, 14(4), 323-335.
  • Eijgelaar, E., 2009, Voluntary carbon offsets a solution for reducing tourism emissions? Assessment of communication aspects and mitigation potential, Transport and Tourism: Challenges, Issues and Conflicts, 46-64.
  • Gössling, S., Haglund, L., Kallgren, H., Revahl, M. and Hultman, J., 2009, Swedish air travellers and voluntary carbon offsets: towards the co-creation of environmental value?, Current Issues in Tourism, 12(1), 1-19.
  • Hares, A., Dickinson, J. and Wilkes, K., 2009, Climate change and the air travel decisions of UK tourists. Journal of Transport Geography, 18(3), 466-473.
  • Mair, J., 2011, Exploring air travellers‟ voluntary carbon-offsetting behavior, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19(2), 215-230.

Innaxis is appointed as United Nations Observer Organisation

Innaxis has received word that it has been granted Observer status for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This permits Innaxis to participate in certain events and activities of the UNFCCC. There are over 1,297 observer organisations around the world with only 16 from Spain.

This is a great accomplishment for Innaxis and the environmental research treads that Innaxis is promoting; we look forward to collaborating with other observer organisations and talking to influential individuals about the key topics of today.

Derogations of an EU Regulation

Emissions Trading Scheme, Kyoto, cap and trade, Climate Exchange, law of demand- all have been mentioned under the hot topic of CO2 emissions and climate change policies. With all of the concern of global warming- it’s no surprise that countries are trying to ´go green´ now too.

In recent news, French EU Presidency has proposed a compromise designed to overcome opposition to EU climate plans from some of the heavy industries and newer member states. The French EU Presidency is asking for early identification of industries exposed to foreign competition and temporary exemptions from full CO2 permit auctioning for coal-dependent economies.

Some member states disagreed with the proposal. Poland’s secretary of state for European affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz states, “The proposed measures open the door to the phenomenon of windfall profits for power companies. Our objective is not to create more profits for energy companies. Our objective is to protect consumers.”

CO2 emissions have long been a concern for production companies. At higher CO2-prices, companies are tempted to pass the costs down to the final consumer. However, when faced with a price increase, the consumer will demand less and substitute more. Production from the company will decrease, and imports of substitutes into the country will increase. This leads to a carbon emissions leak- another outcome that countries are trying to avoid.  However, in some industries such as the paper industry, this practice has already been banned. Emissions Trading Scheme costs cannot be passed down to the final consumer because of the heavy international competition.

Opinions concerning the trade of carbon emission permits have been wide-range. Some believe it’s an expensive bureaucratic solution to fix a problem that may not even exist, and others believe it’s a great policy to try to save the world from the global warming time bomb.

In either case many economists agree that a policy regulating carbon emissions, no matter how unorganized or unfair, is better than no-policy at all. Many countries have adapted their own plan under the international KYOTO plan, including the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The United States has yet to confirm to the KYOTO plan, but future president Obama has stated that some kind of environmental policy is in plan for the future.

The proposal calls for the European Commission to ‘rapidly’ produce figures that set a threshold to quantify the risk of certain industries becoming exposed to competition by third countries with less stringent CO2 reduction regimes. However, with the upcoming International negotiations towards the KYOTO Protocol to be finalised in Dec. 2009, the request may be viewed as a wrong signal.

Many countries rely on certain resources for over half of their power generation portfolio. For example, Poland relies on coal for 60% of their portfolio.

The economic and environmental plan of emissions trading is proving to be more complex than ever. It’s hard to bring the world, or even just a group of countries together to bring about a significant change. The complex system of CO2 trading and it’s effects on the economy is certainly one to pay attention to.

The Council, Commission and Parliament are due to continue this trialogue next Tuesday (25 November) to reach a deal to be agreed at the European Council on 17 December.

A transport network is a complex network- TEN-T Policy

On the 14th and 15th of October, the European Commission held a stakeholder conference to review the trans-European transport network policy. Important input was contributed for the drafting of the Commission’s Green Paper on the future of TEN-T policy. This paper will be published in early 2009.

The transport network policy (TEN-T) is part of a wider system, TEN, or Trans-European Networks. Within the system is TEN-T, as well as TEN-E (Energy), and eTEN (E-systems). The transportation TEN-T policy is more than the sum of 27 national transport infrastructure programmes.

Transport network is linked to the environmental policy- transport strategy concerning emissions 20% of emissions, 20% renewable 20% reduction in the use of energy all done by year 2020.

As this transport policy concerns the use and dependency on oil, it is concurrently linked to the environment policy. Many substitutes are being evaluated including Bio fuels, Hydrogen and fuel cells, and electricity. However since some elements such as bio fuel isn’t considered as ´clean´ studies are still being conducted.

The completion of important cross-border high-speed railway axes is a challenging goal, especially since talks mentioned links to outside of Europe specifically Morocco-Africa. Network links to airports and ports were also placed as a priority.

As this intricate cross-border network with concern for the climate change, competitiveness, and social and economic cohesion, becomes ever more multi-faceted; the need for a complex systems network intensifies. The understanding of complexity science, which is the establishment of a complex system, is valuable when trying to complete such a demanding project.

David Perez, the director of The Innaxis Research Institute, attended the conference and believes Innaxis may be able to play a part. Spain has a similar project, Aero-Ave, which concerns constructing a network between air and land transportation. Innaxis has already submitted a proposal to contribute to the national project and is looking into what they can do on the international level.

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