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Welcome to the June newsletter of Stay Grounded! 

How can we fight for climate justice and a change of the transport system during a pandemic? Much has happened in recent weeks in the struggle around bailouts for the aviation industry. Now flights are slowly increasing again and the aviation lobby is back to work with its climate-damaging plans. But we know that we have to stay on the ground, not only because of coronavirus, but for the sake of people and the planet. Help to make this happen and get active with us! 

In this issue of our newsletter we show you how the airline industry is trying to use the crisis for its own interests. We inform you about the status of airline bailouts and new initiatives we have launched: information on alternative travel, changing the travel policies of organisations and our latest webinars. We present highlights from our network, some media reports about Stay Grounded and more.

We hope you will enjoy reading it!

The Stay Grounded team

Let Aviation Not Get Back to Business as Usual

COVID-19 has put the breaks on aviation. The industry itself predicts that a return to passenger numbers from 2019 could take until 2022 or 2023. Governments around the world are spending hundreds of billions on this goal, and the industry is lobbying to further water down the already few and weak environmental regulations for aviation. But air traffic must not be allowed to return to its climate-damaging growth path! Flying is the fastest way to fry the planet and is already responsible for about 5-8% of global heating

Negotiations are currently underway on CORSIA, the 'Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation', which is set to start next year. But the system is flawed, covers only a small fraction of the emissions of air traffic and would have cost airlines very little. Now, with the votes of the USA and the EU, among others, it could be further watered down by the ICAO, the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation. 

But even a CORSIA as planned would deliver very little. The climate rules for aviation need a complete overhaul. Instead of false solutions like compensation and the hope for technological miracles, we need strong regulation in line with the 1.5 degree limit and a just reduction of air traffic.

While politicians seem to follow the industry lobby, we have to take the matter into our own hands. There are several ways to help with this. You can decide and pledge to fly less, help us with a donation, join a group that fights against aviation growth and for climate justice or get involved directly with Stay Grounded.

Get active!

Airline bailouts. According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines worldwide have received more than 123 billion dollars taxpayers' money to date. In the EU alone they have applied for around 33 billion euros, according to the airline bailout tracker by Transport & Environment, Carbon Market Watch and Greenpeace. The problem: environmental and social conditions are absent in almost all cases.

Alternatives. You want to fly less, but don't know how you can get where you want to go? Have a look at our website and get tips on how to travel differently

So far we provide information about the best booking systems for rail and other alternative forms of transport, about staycation, bike tours and hiking, as well as best practice guides for online conferences and a travel emissions calculator.

Action at Nantes Airport

In Nantes, banners were unfurled in front of the airport entrances with cardboard planes and smoke.

Action. At the airport Nantes activists from GIGNV, Extinction Rebellion and Attac blocked the entrance of the flight to Paris with banners, cardboard planes and smoke. Photo by our members Groupe d'Intervention des Grenouilles Non-Violentes.

Organisations. A good place to start reducing travel is within the organisations that we are part of. Business trips account for a significant proportion of flights. The corona crisis has shown us that it is possible to organise global events and meetings virtually without having to take a plane. Let’s build on these experiences and change how we travel for work, school or university!

Learn more about changing your organisations’ travel policies on our website or fill in our survey with your organisation.

Webinar. Work-related air travel has been on the rise for decades. Therefore it is important to change the travel policies of the organisations we are part of so it becomes easier for us and more accepted to stay grounded also for work.

This webinar is a good place to start if you are looking for inspirations on how to get there. In this webinar, we will look into concrete measures to reduce air travel that are available to organisations. More information and registration.

Network. All around the world people from our member groups are fighting against new airports or airport expansions. But a just and climate safe mobility is not only about reducing aviation and airports.

The Mexican government wants to create a railway loop to link Mayan archaeological sites and seaside resorts in eastern Mexico, but there is resistance. Indigenous populations have been struggling for several years against this deadly project.

Webinar. Stay Grounded has members all over the world and global solidarity is central to our work. Still most of our member groups are in Europe and we always need to take care that this doesn’t shift our attention from the communities in the Global South.

In the webinar we tried to follow some critical voices asking whether our campaigns to reduce aviation are maybe just speaking to the privileged and how they could be shaped in a more inclusive way. Rewatch it here.

Stay Grounded in the Media

A glimpse of media coverage about the Stay Grounded network and our campaigns. For more content (also in other languages) visit the media review on our website.

Deutsche Welle: Lufthansa bailout shows Germany has learned nothing from the pandemic

FEASTA and EHFF: The future of tourism and business travel (podcast)

apex: What Will Airline Bailouts With Carbon Contingencies Mean for Aviation?

Green Left: Save people not planes

News: Aviation, Climate, Politics and Movements

Our highlights: What is going on in climate politics, the aviation industry, climate science and the climate justice movement.

Stay Grounded: Airline bailouts – Has Air France been tied down by ‘green strings’?

Possible./New Economics Foundation: Crisis Support to Aviation and the Right to Retrain (report)

The Guardian: Is the Covid-19 crisis the catalyst for greening the world's airlines?

The Guardian: The end of tourism? (long read article)

Climate Home News: ‘Final blow’ to aviation climate plan as EU agrees to weaken rules

The Conversation: Green bailouts: relying on carbon offsetting will let polluting airlines off the hook

Follow us on social media!

Photos: 1: veerasak Piyawatanakul/Pexels, CC0 | 2: System Change, not Climate Change! | 3: Engin_Akyurt/Pixabay, CC0 | 4: Groupe d'Intervention des Grenouilles Non-Violentes | 5: barnyz, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 | 6: Mish Sukharev, Flickr, CC BY 2.0 | 7: Coordinadora de Pueblos y Organizaciones del Oriente del Estado de México | 


For our actions, meetings, solidarity work and coordination of the network, we need funding. Support the movement to reduce air traffic – make a donation!




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