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Replacing short-haul flights with land-based transportation modes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: The case of Finland

Baumeister, Stefan
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.225 pp. 262-269
air transportation, aircraft, climate, greenhouse gas emissions, travel, Finland
Even though air travel often provides the fastest transport option, it also has the highest climate impact. Especially on long-haul trips, an aircraft usually represents the only feasible option. Nevertheless, aircraft are more often used on short-haul routes as well. It is the short-haul flights that produce the highest emissions per passenger. These are also the ones that could be replaced the most easily by land-based transportation modes. This study investigates the greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential of replacing short-haul flights with train, coach and car travel within Finland while also taking into account real travel times from door to door. Our results showed that replacing short-haul flights could significantly reduce a country’s climate impact. Furthermore, we found that existing land-based transportation modes can keep up with the travel times of aircrafts on routes up to 400 km.