Traveling is a beautiful thing, yes. But, like so many beautiful things, not without danger. And by that we don’t mean that a plane can crash into the Atlantic Ocean or a tour bus can crash off a Peruvian Andean road. Rather, the point is that travel is quite high-carbon fun that does its bit to keep global temperatures rising, not falling, and it could be getting pretty uncomfortable on this planet pretty soon. Key word: tipping point. Alternating drought and flooding – we now regularly get a foretaste.
Nobody wants or has to do without travel because of this. Because: There is sustainability – or at least the sustainability officers in the tourism companies. There is currently hardly a destination between South Tyrol and the Maldives that does not point to its particularly great sustainability efforts or, to put it better: wave it vigorously on Instagram and Co.
What isn’t being advertised as totally sustainable! The hotel in the mountains with its 3000 square meter spa area; the atoll resort with its overwater villas with the air conditioning on full blast; the cruise with natural gas-powered 4000-guest ships! All totally sustainable.
Nothing can go wrong with the two-degree target, right?
And now Austrian Airlines is also offering a totally CO₂-neutral flight from Vienna to Venice. “No art for us!” It said in the advertisement. You can fly the guests to the Biennale in Venice with “100 percent SAF” (aviation fuel made from non-fossil raw materials), and the entrance ticket is on top of that.
That was too much for the Dutch aviation critic Eric Stam, he sued the Austrian Advertising Council for misleading advertising and was right, like the internet magazine airtelegraph reported.
The main message of the advertising implies that climate-neutral flying is already possible today, which is not true. The term Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is not clearly defined. Most of the airlines that boast about it only add a few percent, with a maximum of 80 percent CO₂ savings, but Austrian advertises with 100 percent. The code of ethics was “not sufficiently sensitively implemented”, judged the advertising council. What he and Austrian didn’t say: You can take the train to Venice, conveniently all the way to the island – and without any SAF!