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Trains & planes

The climate impact of flying


Air travel can offer unparalleled speed and global connectivity, but comes with a hefty carbon cost.

  • According to Flight Free UK aviation is responsible for 7% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.  

  • Even a short flight can emit hundreds of kilograms of CO2 per passenger.

  • The aviation industry is making the problem worse by promoting frequent flyer incentives, airport expansion and increasing private jets.

National campaigns are encouraging individuals to explore eco-friendly alternatives to flying.


Possible’s campaign calls for UK flights to be cut by a third to help reduce carbon emissions and reach our climate targets.

Graph credit:

Passenger Plane
FLight Free UK Why_transport_comparison.jpg

Take to the rails instead...

Trains offer a great alternative to flying and driving.

They are more energy-efficient: producing far fewer carbon emissions with each mile travelled.

International travel by train 
Travelling abroad by train has never been easier!
The Man in Seat 61 offers lots of information about using trains abroad.  It provides travellers with:

  • up-to-date information on train routes

  • journey planners

  • ​practical tips for a smooth journey.  

Train travel in the UK
The UK rail industry is actively working towards more sustainable practices. 
Transport for Wales is investing in energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure upgrades to reduce carbon emissions.

Using train apps to measure carbon savings

Apps such as the Trainline app and Train Pal app offer user-friendly platforms which makes it easier to plan journeys across the UK by train and bus to reduce your carbon footprint. 


When booking tickets, users receive information on the carbon impact and carbon savings of their journeys (see image on the right).  

Working on Train
Supporting greener business travel


Trainline Business sells tickets from 270 carriers across 45 countries, covering 80% of all routes in Europe and provides businesses with cost efficiencies and controls over their travel spend.

Empty Train Station
Actions you can take...

  1. Use a carbon footprint calculator to find out how much flights and other modes of transport contribute towards your carbon footprint.

  2. Sign up to Flight Free UK’s flight free challenge and check out their website for tips on alternative ways to travel abroad.

  3. Ask your employer to sign up to Climate Perks, a new employee benefit scheme where employers help staff to choose slower, cleaner, travel by giving them paid ‘journey days’ on top of their annual leave entitlement.

  4. Support Possible’s frequent flyer levy campaign: the more someone flies in any given year, the more tax they pay on their flights.

  5. Keep up to date with local initiatives that prioritise sustainability. See Shropshire Council’s website.

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