Over a quarter of people in Switzerland never fly, FSO survey reveals
A new climate survey by the Federal Statistical Office has revealed that more than a quarter of people in Switzerland don’t fly at all. The report suggested that amid heightened awareness of climate change, the declining use of Swiss airports by local residents was one of the few areas where green attitudes are being backed up by individual action.
9 in 10 people in Switzerland acknowledge climate change
According to the FSO survey of 3.000 residents, nine in 10 people in Switzerland acknowledge that the climate is changing. 41,4 percent reported that the recent spate of unseasonably warm and unstable weather was a sign of significant climate change, while 47,7 percent thought that the climate was changing more gradually.
What’s more, 49 percent of respondents thought that people in Switzerland were becoming more environmentally friendly. However, the FSO itself noted that this enthusiasm to become green is reflected more in people’s words rather than their actions. For instance, the number of people who said they use less energy, buy fewer appliances and consume more organic products and food from the supermarket has remained largely unchanged since the last survey in 2019.
In a new addition to the survey, the FSO also found that 12 percent of people in Switzerland still eat meat every day, 11 percent have meat once a week and only 6 percent report not eating meat at all. By comparison, vegans and vegetarians make up 12 percent of the population of Germany, according to a Forsa survey released in September 2023.
Number of non-flyers in Switzerland rises
However, the Swiss government did note that one metric had moved since the last survey in 2019: they found that 26 percent of people in Switzerland report that they never fly, up from 20 percent in 2019. This means that up to 2,2 million people in the alpine nation do not use air travel.
Despite the gradual change, a majority of people still report using the plane on a semi-regular basis. 0,4 percent of people reported taking at least one flight a week, 0,9 percent fly several times a month, 21,3 percent fly several times a year and just over half fly once a year or less. While the number of frequent flyers is falling, international flights to and from Switzerland still generate roughly 5,7 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
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