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Growing movement urges passengers to ditch air travel to tackle climate change

A growing movement is urging people to boycott air travel to combat worsening climate change. 

A small number of New Zealanders are turning away from air travel - known as the 'Fly Less Kiwis'. The movement originated from the group 'Flygskam' (Flight Shaming or Stay on the Ground) in Sweden.

Physics professor Dr Shaun Hendy travels from Auckland to Wellington via train, taking 11 hours and creating a carbon footprint of 17 kilograms. That is compared to a 55 minute plane ride creating a 133kg carbon footprint. 

The airline industry is responsible for almost three per cent of carbon dioxide emissions, and release other particles that have a warming effect. 

Leading the Flyskam movement in Sweden, Maya Rosen told TVNZ1's Q+A their campaign urged 100,000 people to not fly for a year. 

"If enough people act, then things could change really fast and I'm really hoping this will become a global movement."

Tourism Industry Aotearoa's Chris Roberts said if the movement takes hold, "then it might significantly affect markets like New Zealand, and we could potentially have fewer people coming". 

Watch the video above for the full story. 

Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.

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The number of people flying only continues to grow, with aviation responsible for about three per cent of carbon emissions. Source: Q+A