Protest movements

Many civil society voices around the world are campaigning for less air traffic. Through protest actions, people are trying to prevent the expansion of airports and promote more climate-friendly alternatives.

One important network of civil society organizations in this regard is Stay Grounded, which unites more than 160 organizations and NGOs, groups and projects that advocate for transport alternatives and/or fight for climate justice. In a position paper, the network shows how global air transport is directly linked to the issue of climate justice. Stay Grounded not only wants to reduce global air traffic, but also to clarify problematic aspects of offsetting and biofuels. For this purpose, the initiative connects people who are directly affected by the negative impacts of aviation or who fight for global climate justice on other levels.

A world map provides a closer look at the specific protest actions and conflicts. In India, for example, the network supports the protest of farmers who see their livelihood threatened by the planned expansion of Karad Airport. In 2019 the protest achieved its first successes. In France, farmers and environmental activists successfully protested the construction of an airport in Notre Dame; the site became known as ZAD (Zone à défendre).

Stay Grounded acts as an umbrella organization for local groups, the majority of which are active in Europe. In Germany, members include Am Boden bleiben, Attac, terran e.V. and Explane. In addition, many other NGOs and movements from climate and environmental fields, such as BUND, Greenpeace and Fridays for Future, are calling for a reduction in air traffic. The organization Back on Track is also lobbying rail operators and governments to expand the night train network; and the alliance „loving the atmosphere" is calling for fewer business trips by air.

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