2 Apr 2018

Why scientist Shaun Hendy has grounded himself

From Easter Monday, 8:45 am on 2 April 2018

An Auckland scientist has given up plane travel for a year as part of action he is taking to combat climate change.

Shaun Hendy

Shaun Hendy Photo: supplied

Auckland University physics professor Shaun Hendy says he assessed how he could reduce his personal carbon footprint, and found the biggest thing he - and many scientists could do - was to cut back on air travel.

He told RNZ's Easter Monday programme some people would not trust what was being said about climate change if those involved were not taking steps themselves.

"Something like this might just sway people that are sitting in the middle.

"We are going to move towards a low-carbon economy and a lot of us are going to start have to start making lifestyle decision based on our carbon footprint."

He says he hoped this might sway some people who are still unsure about the credibility of climate science.

"If enough of us do it, if enough of us start making these steps then collectively we can have a global impact."

He says by not taking flights he would miss out on an invitation to speak to the UK government, but has managed to find a colleague in the US to go in his stead.

Prof Hendy is speaking in Dunedin on Tuesday and is travelling down the country from Auckland by train.