The goal of FLYWELL is to engage people and organizations in Norway in reducing the environmental impact of flight-intensive practices. For many people, air travel is linked to high quality of life. Travelling for work, leisure, sports, and family is often associated with experiences of relatedness, belonging, physical health, autonomy, and freedom, all identified as human or basic needs in the well-being literature.
Air transport generates 3-4% of CO2 emissions and represents 51% of the transport sector's total climate impact in Norway. Researchers indicate that this sector is difficult to decarbonize by solely relying on increased efficiency and technical improvements. The number of flights must therefore be addressed if we are to achieve a rapid and significant reduction in CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
FLYWELL will research how to reduce the demand for air travel and at the same time maintain a high quality of life. This interdisciplinary project combines social practice perspectives from sociology and science and technology studies (STS), with well-being approaches used in economics, psychology and international development, and life cycle assessments from environmental science.
FLYWELL has two main tasks
1) The first is about filling the gap in the academic literature by studying flight-intensive practices. This will be done in collaboration with Norwegian organizations and by involving practitioners in the investigation of the extent to which their environmental impact can be reduced without impairing well-being.
2) The second involves engaging Norwegian society in the design and implementation of individual and collective actions/interventions to reduce air travel without "losing" quality of life. This entails the organization of participatory policy forums that bring together the codified knowledge of environmental experts, the experiential knowledge of air travelers and the tourism industry, and the managerial tools of policy makers.
This interdisciplinary research will engage people and organisations in Norway in reducing the environmental impact of air travel. Flight-intensive practices concerning work, leisure and family are associated with high levels of quality of life as they provide relatedness, affiliation, physical health, autonomy, and leisure, all identified as human or basic needs in the well-being literature. At the same time, flying generates 3-4% of CO2 emissions at the global level, and represents 51% of transportation’s total climate impact in Norway. If the aviation sector returns to business as usual and postpones effective action after the COVID-19 pandemic, air travel could represent 22% of total CO2 emissions by 2050. Thus, flight volumes need to be addressed if a rapid and significant reduction of CO2 emissions is to be achieved in line with the Paris Agreement.
In order to understand how to reduce demand for air travel and maintain high levels of quality of life this interdisciplinary research will combine social practice perspectives from sociology and Science and Technology Studies (STS), with well-being perspectives used in economics, psychology, and international development, and Life-Cycle assessments from environmental sciences. In collaboration with organisations interested in reducing the flight intensity of their practices in the work, leisure, family and sports domains we will carry out: 1) a study of the elements that lock people and organisations in flight-intensive practices, 2) a quantitative analysis of how practices and their elements are linked to well-being and CO2 emissions, 3) a study of the demand-side solutions to flight intensive-practices that reduce environmental impact and do not hamper well-being, and 4) Policy Forums aiming at devising and implementing change at the organizational and national levels.