Give up Flights? The Effect of Justice Concerns on individual air Travel Intentions and Policy Support
Presentation held at International Conference on Environmental Psychology, ICEP 2021, Siracusa, Italy, 05.-08. October 2021
The contribution of air travel to climate change has received increasing attention in the recent years. Until the Covid-19 pandemic, air traffic had continued to rise and already accounted for 5-8% of global climate impact in 2019. Next to the climate impact, air travel reveals global and even national injustice. The concept of climate justice is especially applicable to the realm of air travel as only a small portion of the world population has ever set foot in a plane. Therefore, understanding factors influencing air travel choices appears highly relevant. From a psychological view, only few studies have addressed air travel so far. With this study we thus contribute to research regarding sustainable mobility behaviour by conducting a representative study with 2530 participants from Germany in October 2019. We identify how information regarding CO2-emissions, global injustice and subsidies with taxpayers' money affect the individual willingness to reduce flights and the support for policy measures that address air travel. We demonstrate how the effect of different information depends on national or global identification, perceived importance of intergenerational justice, and pro-travel attitudes. Moreover, the attractiveness of substitutes to air travel is explored. The focus of this study lied on domestic and inter-european flights especially for the descriptive statistics and policy support part. Some results thus can't be generalized for international air travel, but we believe that the factors influencing individual air travel intentions and policy support are independent from this restriction. Short- and potential long-term effects of Covid-19 on air travel are discussed.