Image for Swedes opt for trains over flights amid climate crisis concerns

Swedes opt for trains over flights amid climate crisis concerns

Twice as many Swedes are choosing to travel by train as opposed to flying for domestic journeys compared to just a year and a half ago, reports the country’s rail operator

Twice as many Swedes are choosing to travel by train as opposed to flying for domestic journeys compared to just a year and a half ago, reports the country’s rail operator

The travel patterns of Swedish people have changed “dramatically” as a result of the climate debate, according to the country’s rail operator Swedish Railways (SJ).

A survey published by the body last week found that 37 per cent of respondents are now choosing to travel by rail instead of air, compared with 26 per cent in autumn 2018 and 20 per cent in early 2018. It is thought to reflect escalating public concern about the climate crisis.

The essential news briefing for optimists Get Positive News stories in your inbox every Saturday

The word ‘Flygskam’ – ‘flight shame’ – has been coined to capture the feeling of being embarrassed or ashamed to travel by plane because of flying’s environmental impact. It is being used on social media along with the hashtag #jagstannarpåmarken, which translates as #stayontheground.

It echoes a commitment not to fly made by the schoolgirl climate activist Greta Thunberg due to the harm it does to the environment.

According to the company, a single flight between Sweden’s two biggest cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg, generates as much CO2 as 40,000 train journeys.

According to the company, a single flight between Sweden’s two biggest cities, Stockholm and Gothenburg, generates as much CO2 as 40,000 train journeys

“The same trend is visible for trains versus car,” said Tobbe Lundell, press officer for Swedish Railways. “In the spring and autumn survey, 27 per cent of people stated that they chose trains in front of cars, compared with 20 per cent in autumn 2017.”

Stockholm, photographed by Raphael Andres

Featured image: Stefan Nilsson

Fed up with negative news? Can you help us?

The negativity bias in the media is holding society back. While it’s important to report problems and hold power to account, we believe there is also a need for rigorous reporting on progress, possibility and solutions. We call this ‘constructive journalism’, and to keep doing it we need your help.

We know you want Positive News to benefit as many people as possible, so we haven’t put up a paywall. We don’t answer to and rely on a wealthy proprietor because, instead, we are owned co-operatively by 1,500 of our readers who joined our crowdfund in 2015. And we’re not beholden to advertisers either, because we know that you only want to hear about companies that have a positive impact.

So, instead, we depend on you. Positive News is more than a magazine, it’s a community of people who see and share the good in the world. We need your support to continue publishing our inspiring journalism and to set the example for other media to follow. It’s quick and easy to contribute and you can support Positive News from just £1. Every contribution makes a vital difference. Thank you for helping us to change the news for good.

Support Positive News
Inbox inspirationSign up for a weekly dose of Positive News