Frequent Travelers and Climate: New Research

A team of researchers from California State University, Monterey Bay;  Texas A&M; and San Francisco State University surveyed travelers about their knowledge and thoughts about climate and travel, exploring barriers and opportunities to supporting climate when traveling. 

A total of 752 surveys were completed between March-June 2021 by respondents accessed through Tomorrow’s Air and Adventure.Travel (60% of respondents) and Climeworks (40% of respondents) databases.

Even in a survey population more likely to understand carbon removal and its variations, it was significant  to find misconceptions such as confusing carbon removal with carbon capture utilization and storage (a technique used in enhanced oil recovery) and the characterization of sustainable lifestyle modifications as ‘carbon removal.’ 

This highlights the important opportunity we have before us to develop and share engaging and, credible climate action education, including plain facts about carbon removal and its role in restoring our climate.  

Additional key findings include:

  • Frequent travelers in this study say they are highly concerned about climate change: 68 percent say it is a threat to the world; 58 percent say it should be given top priority
  • Forty percent of respondents said they plan to be carbon neutral in their travels within the next five years
  • When asked what support they need to overcome barriers to climate action during travel, 60 percent said affordability and 43 percent said education 
  • 73 percent say they’re noticing when travel providers use more fuel efficient / electric transportation, adopt electricity, heating, and cooling efficiencies, and sustainably source food
  • Carbon removal remains mysterious: Of the 34 percent of respondents who commented on carbon removal, eight percent shared concerns about cost or revealed misconceptions about the process.

Download the full report here

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