While Climate Activists Beg For Emissions Reductions, Empty Airplanes Are Flying Across Europe

Hundreds of millions of refugees. Thousands of species extinct. Entire ecosystems destroyed. These are the threats posed by climate change, and activists around the world are begging governments to take a warming planet seriously. Meanwhile, in the European Union, airlines are flying empty, fossil-fuel guzzling airplanes as part of their "guaranteed flight" requirement to maintain their slots.

Sign now to demand that the European Union decrease the percentage of guaranteed flights required for airlines to keep their slots!

Given the rate of spread of the Omicron variant, flights across Europe are empty as wary or sick travelers cancel plans -- but the EU is still requiring them to fly in order to retain their in-demand landing slots. In fact, Lufthansa alone said it would have to fly an additional 18,000 "unnecessary" flights through the winter in order to use the 50% of it's landing slots required to keep them. That is a massively wasteful number of empty flights. It is estimated that global aviation emitted a whopping 1.04 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018 alone. 

Despite widespread calls for dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, many industrialized nations are failing to reduce their emissions whatsoever. Industrialized nations -- and especially western countries in Europe -- share a disproportionate responsibility for the current climate crisis. The consequences of climate catastrophe will be disproportionately felt by people in the global south who use far less energy and did not cause the problem in the first place. Will the EU step up and do the bare minimum -- simply not require empty flights to fly – or continue to show a lack of care about the future of the planet?

Both environmentalists and the airlines themselves agree that this policy is outdated and wasteful – a rare union of typically opposing political forces. The EU must show a commitment to climate change and listen to both the airline industry and environmentalists everywhere: this policy is outdated! Sign the petition now if you agree!

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