Sweden wants travel companies to flag up climate impact

Sweden wants travel companies to inform customers of the climate impact of long-haul trips when advertising or selling tickets. Above, climate activists in Stockholm. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2019

Sweden wants travel companies to flag up climate impact

  • ‘The transport sector is the key in the climate transition ... but it should also be easy for the individual to take responsibility’
  • Parul Sharma, director of Greenpeace Sweden, welcomed the initiative

STOCKHOLM: Sweden wants travel companies to inform customers of the climate impact of long-haul trips when advertising or selling tickets, the government said Friday.
“The transport sector is the key in the climate transition ... but it should also be easy for the individual to take responsibility,” Tomas Eneroth, Minister for Infrastructure, said in a statement.
“That’s why a climate declaration is a good way for consumers and companies to know what sort of climate impact your travels have,” Eneroth added.
A bill has yet to be proposed but the government commissioned a report on how companies could be mandated to declare the climate impact of long-haul trips by “bus, train, plane or ferry.”
The report, which will be completed by April 2020, will also look at how a climate declaration should be structured to allow easy comparison between different modes of transport in a way that is understandable to the consumer.
Parul Sharma, director of Greenpeace Sweden, welcomed the initiative.
“Informed consumers are incredibly important and I think many would be awestruck about how much of a climate impact, particularly flights, have,” Sharma said.
“But informing consumers can’t be made to shift the responsibility away from the government, which needs to supplement this with efforts to reduce flying,” she added.
Choosing more climate friendly ways of getting around have become a hot topic in the country following climate activist Greta Thunberg’s insistence on trains-over-planes and debates over so called “flygskam,” a buzz word which translates to flight shame.
In September, Sweden’s largest airport operator Swedavia said that air passengers were down four percent in August compared to the same month a year before, in line with similar drops for previous months in 2019.


Arsenal’s Ozil condemns Muslim silence over Uighurs

Updated 2 min ago

Arsenal’s Ozil condemns Muslim silence over Uighurs

  • China has faced growing international condemnation for setting up a vast network of camps in Xinjiang aimed at homogenizing the Uighur population
  • Turkey is home to an Uighur community and has regularly raised concerns about the situation in Xinjiang

ISTANBUL: Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, a German footballer of Turkish origin, on Friday expressed support for Uighurs in Xinjiang and criticized Muslim countries for their failure to speak up for them.
“Qur’ans are being burnt... Mosques are being shut down ... Muslim schools are being banned ... Religious scholars are being killed one by one ... Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps,” Ozil wrote in Turkish on his Twitter account.
“The Muslims are silent. Their voice is not heard,” he wrote on a background of a blue field with a white crescent moon, the flag of what Uighur separatists call East Turkestan.
China has faced growing international condemnation for setting up a vast network of camps in Xinjiang aimed at homogenizing the Uighur population to reflect China’s majority Han culture.
Rights groups and experts say more than one million Uighurs and people of other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have been rounded up in the camps in the tightly-controlled region.
After initially denying the camps, China describes them as vocational schools aimed at dampening the allure of extremism and violence.
Turkey, which takes its name from Turkic people who migrated from central Asia, is home to an Uighur community and has regularly raised concerns about the situation in Xinjiang.
In his tweet, Ozil said Western states and media had kept the Uighurs issue on their agenda and added: “what will be remembered years later would not be the torture by the tyrants but the silence of their Muslim brothers.”
The 31-year-old footballer, sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, raising questions about his loyalty to Germany on the eve of their 2018 World Cup campaign.
Ozil later quit the national squad, accusing German football officials of racism. Erdogan was Ozil’s best man when the footballer was married in Istanbul this year.