Written by Eric Lombard While the aviation sector and governments promise a new era of “sustainable” aviation fuels (SAF), we know that it will divert much-needed resources away from other sectors and take decades to happen, if at all. Yet there is an efficient way to...
Methodology of the Conference
Our methodology is quite different from typical academic conferences. Papers need not be submitted. The conference includes keynote speeches and public panel discussions, but its main feature is working groups chaired by experts from civil society and academia. Each working group will have ample time for in-depth discussion on a specific approach for degrowing aviation. This methodology is partially influenced by the Nyéléni-Conferences on Food Sovereignty.
The parallel working groups will be on the following strategies or instruments:
- Kerosene tax, ticket tax and VAT
- Frequent flyer levy, progressive tax on flights and individual flying quotas
- Limits on domestic flights, short haul flights, and flights per city, airport, and low-cost airlines
- Institutional changes of travel policies (universities, ministries, NGOs, etc.)
- Moratoria on and bans of new airport infrastructure and airports being scaled down and dismantled (e.g. regional airports)
- Fostering alternatives (e.g. night trains and buses in Europe, and ships using renewable gears)
- Caps on tourism (e.g. in cities)
At the core of the working group discussions will be questions like:
- What are socially just and feasible instruments and strategies to reduce aviation?
- Can degrowth of aviation be organized in a top-down or bottom-up way – or how must
this be interlinked?
- Should we rather choose to demand taxes or limits?
Each working group will focus on a specific instrument or strategy, whilst (in discussing its advantages, disadvantages and feasibility) keeping in mind the topical approaches the other groups are deliberating. When the working groups are done, a plenary session will compare the outcomes. The goal of the plenary is to reach a conclusion on which strategies our movement should pursue and which instruments we should demand, toward reaching our goal of degrowing aviation.
To promote in-depth discussions, sign-ups for each working group will be made in advance, and participants of each group will be sent a briefing paper ahead of time. This will describe the state of the art of a group’s topic, pose central questions, and provide some literature. Experts participating in the working groups will have an opportunity to contribute to the briefing papers.
On Sunday we, as the Stay Grounded network, will discuss how to proceed on those outcomes and conclusions. How can Stay Grounded and its member organisations implement them in our campaigning?
Conclusions reached in the conference will be spread widely through an online summary and video clips. The outcomes will also contribute to a report on „Degrowth of Aviation“ we are planning.