Interesting statistics from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: Domestic flights reduce their emissions while railway emissions continue to increase

By: Thomas Ström 1/15/20

The day before Christmas eve, the website published an article about the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's statistics on Sweden's emissions during 2018. 
There one can read that carbon dioxide emissions from the Swedish domestic aviation decreased by 4% compared with the previous year. At the same time, the investigation shows that the domestic railways are increasing their emissions by 7,3%. I think this is worth reflecting over.

The article states that in 2018, Swedish domestic aviation accounted for 0,84 percent of the national carbon dioxide emissions when foreign shipping and international aviation is included. This is a decrease of 4% compared to 2017.
Since 1999, this has been a decrease of 25,4 percent. The reason for this is mainly because airlines today fly with more modern and fuel-efficient aircrafts, while working hard with reducing weight and optimizing aircraft sizes.

Sweden is a large country with long distances where aviation connects the country. There are no better alternative or more efficient way to get to Stockholm or Arlanda and Bromma,  as a last destination or for further transfer. There is simply no other means of transport that works better than an airplane for longer domestic transports.

In 2019, the number of passengers has decreased massively on domestic flights, which is largely due to flight shame, flight taxes and a distorted debate where facts are not the main focus. This is also something that, for example, railway traffic advocates highlight in various campaigns.
What they are not talking about is that the railway traffic increased its emissions by 7,3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's statistics. The same figure for domestic flights, including foreign shipping and international flights, is thus minus 4 percent. In my opinion, this should be highlighted in a better way in the debate.

Thomas Ström

Link to article on (in Swedish)