When it comes to traveling, do you have Flygskam, or are you Tågskryt?
the EuroNight network of sleeper trains in Europe is expansion thanks to the French startup Midnight trains, With a bit of luck end a decade of decline inaugurated by the aggressive consolidation of low-cost airlines and the liberalization of long-distance bus lines.
Concerns about the climate emergency in a post-pandemic world seem to re-emphasize slower forms of travel and a different approach to commuting.
The growing popularity of train travel is good news for the planet: a flight between Paris and Rome generates 206.1 kg of carbon dioxide per passenger, while the figure for the same train journey is 8.8 kg. Rail represents a new way of understanding travel, based on the pleasure of travel, rest or work during the journey, as well as departure and arrival in the city center. In Spain, the opening of the high-speed rail infrastructure to new players has seen the emergence of operators such as the RENFE low-cost line, Avlo, and French society Ouigo, considerably increasing the offer and widening the price range.
In recent years, the popularity of overnight trains has declined, which has become either a luxury item or a cheap option that means sharing a car with five foreigners. But the growing awareness of the sustainability market seems poised to revive their fortunes.
In some countries, social pressure shame theft is a major trend: in Sweden, the country that invented the term in 2018 flygskam, also has another neologism, tågskryt, which translates to “pride of the train”. In 2019, before the arrival of the pandemic, the number of people taking domestic flights in Sweden and Germany fell by 11% and 12% respectively, which corresponds to an increase in train use. France has now banned flights to destinations accessible in less than two and a half hours by train. After a pandemic that has disrupted transport and logistics, it remains to be seen in whose favor the competitive balance between the different modes of transport will tip.
Reducing the carbon footprint of the aviation industry is difficult to solve only by technology, which should lead the market to come up with a solution by forcing airlines to pay more to offset their emissions, thereby making tickets more expensive and thus reducing demand, which would likely pose problems for low-cost to high-cost models. volume, especially in the tourism sector. Between 1967 and 2007, the aviation industry improved its energy efficiency by 70%, but this progress was completely offset by the huge increase in the volume of air travel, which resulted in a 70% increase in global emissions between 2005 and 2020, a figure that will rise to 300% by 2050 unless something is done to reduce it. And two-thirds of that percentage is due to 12% of frequent travelers.
Faced with such a scenario, move to a slow life model that would include train travel makes a lot of sense and would fit in the probable reduction in business trips now that we are all videoconferencing experts. Some companies are already reward employees who choose to travel in more sustainable ways with more free time. Obviously, this will not apply to all travel, but until the technology reduce the carbon footprint of the airline industry (2.5% of global emissions), we could start to think about abandoning a means of transport that has developed well beyond sustainable. All aboard!