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Replace long-haul travel with tele presence

Posted by: George Fankhauser

Campaign: Can we make non climate-friendly energy irrelevant?

Long-haul travel in general and transport by air will still be relying on fossil fuels for decades to come. One way to improve this situation is to start a global initiative on e2e communications infrastructures with support for local transport. Global communications infrastructure means providing affordable conferencing services around the world accessible from major urban areas. They could be co-located with existing airports, or even better, take over unused parts of former airport infrastructures. In addition, large urban and industrial centres must be added to such a network. There are about 1\'100 large and medium airports worldwide. With about the same number of conference centres in urban areas and major corporates to join a lot of air travel would become very hard to justify purely from and economic and budget point of view. As this idea shifts transport to commuting from home to tele presence centres it will reduce commutes from hotels to businesses. So a good support for local transport with micro-cars, e-bikes, scooters and public transport is important. A final note: business travel is only half of the story, replacing sightseeing and leisure is currently not an option. But that\'s still 2 billion flights per year to address. Assuming we could initially replace 30% of unnecessary business travel it would also mean to save about 180 m working days per year being not so productive.

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