Our submission to the Federal Senate enquiry into Greenwashing

As a “hard to abate” sector, greenwashing has become a particularly major problem in the aviation sector.

We are concerned that the aviation industry is borrowing the playbook of tobacco, oil and other industries, to confuse, obfuscate and mislead the public while they grow. This has massive impacts upon our climate, so we need to call out this greenwashing and see appropriate action taken. We thank senators for instigating this enquiry.

You may like to read about aviation greenwashing, ranging from airlines claiming their “sustainability” to airports minimising their responsibility for global heating to government departments understating this impact. We point out the difficulty of assessing the veracity of claims about how airlines will be fuelled in the future, as well as the exaggerations by firms creating new fuels, and by all players who use the term “net zero” in the context of aviation.

Our submission can be seen on the Senate website and is listed as Number 68.

Flight Free Australia lodges complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The complaint alleges misleading behaviour (in local football sponsorship) by Etihad Airways, winner of awards as a supposedly “sustainable” airline.

Lodged on our behalf by the legal team from the Environmental Defenders Office, it alleges that while consumers deserve to be able to trust marketing messages, Etihad’s “sustainability” message cannot be trusted.

Our chance to influence the future of Australian aviation

An Australian Aviation White Paper, in the government’s words, “will set the long-term policies to guide the next generation of growth and innovation in the aviation sector.” 

Flight Free Australia has asked for two additional terms to be included in the Terms of reference: the future of aviation’s contribution to the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions emissions; and the long-term job security for the industry workforce in an aviation de-growth scenario. 

The Green Paper provides an opportunity to map the industry’s future and to address the serious and urgent emissions reduction challenges it faces. It’s scheduled to be released mid-2023, and in the government’s words will “outline key challenges and opportunities for the aviation sector”. 

The White Paper is scheduled to be released in first half of 2024 and will be an “authoritative, in-depth report, drawing on feedback from the Green Paper”.

Get in touch at contact@flightfree.net.au if you can make a contribution to our Green Paper submission. 

See: FFOZ Terms of reference submission: https://flightfree.net.au/aviation-white-paper-terms-of-reference-consultation/

See: draft Terms of reference: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/aviation/aviation-white-paper/terms-of-reference

See: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional development, Communication and the Arts Media release: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure-transport-vehicles/aviation/aviation-white-paper


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