Skip to content

Why No One Believes Government’s Climate Hype

The Government department set up to tackle climate change has paid for more than 1,000 internal flights around Britain despite telling the public to cut down on air travel.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is in charge of a multimillion advertising campaign telling the country to cut down on carbon intensive activities, such as taking domestic flights.

But last year officials from DECC took just under 1,200 domestic flights, including 26 return flights to Manchester that can be reached in two-and-a-half hours by train.

Staff from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), that also urges the public to fly less, took 1,938 domestic flights in 2008/09.

The Government spent £35,000 on offsetting the flights, for example by paying for trees to be planted, and insisted all internal flights are kept to a minimum.

But environmental groups and opposition politicians said the officials should be leading by example before preaching on climate change.

Vicky Wyatt, a Greenpeace climate campaigner, called the Government “hypocritical”.

“This is another case of ministers saying one thing and doing another,” she said. “If ministers are serious about tacking climate change, as they frequently assure us they are, then they could start by not flying to places that are a short hop away like Manchester and Aberdeen, and which are served by a fast and efficient rail service.”

Full story