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Swiss government to cut and downgrade staff flights to reduce emissions

Swiss government to cut and downgrade staff flights to reduce emissions

Journeys of less than six hours will be taken by train rather than plane. In addition, staff will be required to fly in economy class rather than business class for journeys of less than 9 hours.

Choosing economy class over business class has a big impact on emissions. On long haul flights a business class seat typically takes up three times the floor area of an economy class one. If airlines had no first or business class sections they could fly the same number of people with far fewer aircraft. In addition, because business and first class travellers pay more per square metre of floor space they subsidise economy class travel. Without these high priced seats, prices in economy class would rise, which would dampen the overall appetite for air travel.

The number of people the government sends to far-flung meetings will be cut too, and video- and tele-conferencing will used more often.

Switzerland’s federal government employs around 38,000 people and emits roughly 40,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases, according to 2018 estimates. 53% of these emissions relate to air travel.