NEW research shows just 20 airports produced the equivalent CO2 emissions of 58 coal plants Launched today, the 2024 ‘Airport Tracker’ – an update to the first global inventory of CO2 and local air pollutants from passenger and freight flights – shows the scale of...
Code Rouge mass action against the aviation industry
This year, Code Rouge are setting their sights on aviation with their mass action, which will take place between Friday 15th and Sunday 17th December.
The ‘People Not Planes’ mobilisation focuses on the climate injustice of the aviation industry and its determination to keep growing beyond planetary boundaries simply for the 1% of super-rich people who are responsible for 50% of emissions from flying. The aviation industry has a disastrous impact on the climate, maintains precarious working conditions for its employees, and yet still receives a privileged policy environment with huge tax breaks and subsidies.
Not only that, but the aviation industry has become an expert at greenwashing, misleading us with excuses that do nothing but delay the urgent change we need to see: a huge reduction in flights. That’s why, Code Rouge is mobilising activists and taking action to put the aviation industry in check, make a radical U-turn, and ensure that people and planet are put first.
Their demands are:
- Ban private jets, short and ultra-short flights
That means flights within a 500 km radius, flights with less than 50 people on board, empty and domestic flights.
- End subsidies and kerosene tax exemptions
End subsidies and state aid to airports and airline companies, as well as investments in aviation infrastructure. This also includes ending the preferential treatment for aviation in taxation, by taxing kerosine and plane tickets. Use the revenues from taxes to pay for loss and damage, and to subsidise long distance public transport.
- Make public transport more affordable than flying
Invest in affordable and sustainable public transport for all, particularly long distance transport by rail, in Belgium and across Europe. This requires infrastructure alignments and subsidies. Cut taxes on train tickets to begin with, and raise awareness on the climate impact of flying.
- Degrow air freight, by relocalising production chains and stimulating a circular economy, as well as shifting cargo transportation to sustainable means of transportation such as rail.
- Stop all expansion of airports in Belgium
Expansion in terms of capacity, and surface area such as in Liège-Bierset and Brussels-Zaventem should be stopped to halt the additional climate and health impact of an expansion.
- Close down Flemish regional airports
Flemish regional airports should be closed, as suggested by the societal cost-benefit analysis commissioned by the Flemish government.
- Preserve the health of airport workers, neighbours, flora and fauna
Limit noise pollution and adopt a flight curfew, meaning no more planes take off or land between 22h and 7h. Carry out permanent air and noise pollution measurements to ensure compliance with WHO recommendations, and apply the industrial emission norms on airports, too.
- Provide a just transition for airport workers
The industry and the authorities should engage in negotiations and concerted planning with airport workers, in order to create sustainable, qualitative jobs with similar or better conditions and pay, and support workers in the transition towards those jobs.
- Stop industry greenwashing, such as carbon offsetting
Carbon offsetting schemes and greenwashing talk of technological fixes allow pollution to continue because they distracts from the absolute need to reduce destructive air traffic emissions.
- Ban ads for flying
Just like ads for cigarettes are banned because they harm our health, so should ads for flying be banned.
Despite millions of people coming together over the past few years to demand urgent, systemic change we’ve seen politicians and industry continue to delay and distract from the change we need to see. Code Rouge is inviting activists to join their ‘People Not Planes’ mobilisation to take the next step together and demand urgent action.
Code Rouge is a civil disobedience movement. This year’s mass action, follows on from Code Rouge’s action last October against Total Energies where several hundred activists called for the French fossil fuel giant to abandon several projects, including the construction of an oil pipeline in Uganda and Tanzania.