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One-third in Finland feel guilty about flying - but most head abroad on holidays

Just two percent of respondents said they decided not to fly on holiday trips due to climate concerns.

More than one-third of those surveyed said they plan to fly to southern Europe on holiday this year, while 32 percent said they're headed to Estonia or another Baltic country. Image: AOP
Mark Odom

One-third of Finnish residents said they felt guilty about the environmental consequences of their air travel, while 15 percent said they're ashamed about flying, according to a survey commissioned by insurance company If.

However, few respondents said they actually took steps to avoid travelling by plane.

Roughly one-third of people surveyed said they were planning a holiday abroad or in Finland this year - about the same level a similar survey found last year.

Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of respondents to this year's survey said they were either somewhat or very worried about global climate change.

People who said they were the most concerned were residents of Uusimaa in southern Finland, female, highly-educated and under the age of 30.

Few cancelled plans over environment

Just two percent of respondents said they decided not to fly on holiday trips due to climate concerns.

Meanwhile, 12 percent said they have reduced the amount they travel, and nine percent said they chose holiday destinations closer to home, with 13 percent saying they choose modes of transportation that cause lower carbon emissions.

Those claiming to be most worried about climate change appeared more prepared to change their travel habits. Sixty-three percent of those most concerned about the environment said they had adjusted their travel habits over the past year.

About two-thirds of respondents said they expect that climate change would be a factor in their travel plans within five years.

The majority of respondents said airlines and tourism firms should take action to reduce the environmental impact of air travel. Around 75 percent said that companies should do more to mitigate climate change.

Nearly half said they would be prepared to pay more for their travel tickets if planes' carbon emissions were significantly reduced.

One-third said they think air travel by individual passengers does not affect climate change.

Around 1,000 people over the age of 18 participated in the survey, which was commissioned by insurance firm If and carried out by YouGov Finland. The survey had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points in either direction.

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