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Fly less

Commercial air travel is one of America’s biggest contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.  However, a relatively small number of business flyers are responsible for most air travel. In fact, the median American takes 0 flights during a regular year.

What’s Going On

An individual’s perceived personal benefit of flying less is low. In fact, it’s the lowest when compared to other behaviors. This indicates that most Americans are unwilling to forgo personal travel.


To meaningfully reduce emissions, we need to target business, not personal, flying. To increase business travelers’ intention to fly less for work, we should focus on the people who have the authority and social standing to change employee flying behaviors. Introducing positive friction in the decision-making process can lead the relevant decision-maker to choose among travel options, rather than defaulting to flying.

The Impacts

If 10% of frequent fliers drop one long-haul round-trip flight per year, 4 million MtCO2e would be avoided annually. The result is $0.2 to $2.1 billion per year in avoided cost to society.

For more information related to the Climate Culture Index research or findings, contact Brandon Schauer at bschauer@rare.org.