Calculate how much carbon you generate on a trip by train or plane

The carbon generated is one of the concerns of today’s world regarding climate change and the ecological destiny of the planet. The so-called carbon footprint is a concept that refers precisely to the level of pollution you do when using various products, but above all, to the various transport systems.

Transportation systems are one of the most frequent concerns regarding carbon generated. Although many means of transport make use of renewable energy, others continue to consume electricity derived from the coal or other polluting products industry.

So, on some occasions, even if you travel on a train that is traveling with electric power. The type of energy implemented also translates to a carbon footprint. It is currently estimated that airplanes pollute 7 times more than trains, since they are means of transport that consume hydrocarbons.

The French government plans to establish a law against short flights

Do you want to know what level of carbon footprint you produce with your trips? On this occasion we will not give you an exact figure, nor an algorithm to follow, but we will give you a compilation of key ideas so that you have an overview of the impact that is made to nature every time you travel.

We tell you that we will not give you an exact figure because many of these estimates are very global. For example, an airplane establishes more kilograms of CO2 than what is done by a train. But on that train, or on that plane, several people travel at once. Unless every time a plane departed it only takes a single person to its destination.

The calculation is established of the generated carbon is always statistical. And it is currently calculated taking into account the duration that a trip can have. The fact that the carbon footprint left by airplanes is seven times greater than that of a train has led the French government to establish a new law.

141 kilograms of CO2 produces an hour and a quarter flight

In France, they have in mind to stop taking flights that last less than two and a half hours. Since the shorter the travel time, the more consumption of hydrocarbons would be made. If these regulations apply to Spain, flights between Madrid and Barcelona would be declared extinct.

An airplane that travels an hour and a quarter of time generates 141 kilograms of CO2. If this trip will be made in three, the level is reduced to 18 kilograms of CO2. A trip between Barcelona and Almería takes about three hours if you travel by train, generating only 15 kilograms of CO2. If you make the flight, it would only take 60 minutes, but it would imply a production of 120 kilograms of CO2.

From this it can be deduced that practically one hour of travel enters only produces 1 kilogram of CO2. Instead, a flight necessarily offers the consumption of 7 kilograms. But the more airplanes needed to cover passengers, the greater the coal generated worldwide.

In train travel the ratio is 1 kilogram of CO2 per hour

Hence, the regulation proposed by France is to allow airports not to be saturated with travelers. The larger the scales between one point and another, the larger the planes that are used to set the travel schedule. The consumption of this means of transport rises more and more.

In fact, the main reason why airplanes pollute more when talking about short trips, is due to all the fuel consumption that is made during landing, and above all, during clearing. It is an extra consumption to consider.

Examples abound. The comparisons are still as crazy and obviously traveling by train is the best solution for the planet, but not the most effective in terms of mobility. We are used to an era where long distances are exceeded in record time.

Airlines run a more accessible and comfortable market

The whole issue of the carbon footprint generated is generating controversy in relation to the tax field. As Adrián Fernández, who works for the Greenpeace organization, states, the airline industry has privileges that do not have trains.

We speak, for example, the payment of fuel taxes, the payment of emissions compensation and also the taxation of this sector. In the European Union, most airlines pay a VAT tax equivalent to 10%.

On the other hand, when it comes to trains, cars and buses, VAT taxes on fuels are higher. Aviation has that in its favor and that is reflected in the fares of air flights, which today are so cheap.

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