Shipping more dangerous than aviation, BA chief says

The aviation industry worldwide is
not as damaging as shipping, said a top executive.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of
British Airways, said that aviation produces 2 per cent of man-made carbon
dioxide emissions, while shipping is closer to 4 per cent.

Mr. Walsh told delegates at the
Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s inaugural Leadership Strategy Conference that
the rate of growth of aviation is at a much faster pace and that would mean
that it could overtake the shipping industry in the future.

Carbon footprint

Responding to a question from the
floor regarding the carbon impact of foodstuffs, he said that it is a
misconception that food flown in from far away has a bigger carbon footprint
than more locally based foods. He pointed to research that British Airways,
Airbus and other partners recently undertook on the subject.

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“Our research was able to
demonstrate that grown in natural environments using natural fertilisers are
less damaging than those in European countries using artificial fertilizers and
having to provide heat by burning fossil fuels.

“It’s important that people realise
that just because it travels by air, it does not necessarily mean that the
product has a larger carbon footprint… the carbon footprint of foods grown
locally can be significantly greater than those that come by air,” said Mr.

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