Take Action: Tell United Airlines to Get on Board with Climate Action

UPDATE #2: Thanks to our partners we have now exceeded 80,000 signatures and getting close to our final goal of 100,000!

In only a few short weeks, the Obama administration and other governments will make a major decision that has the potential to greatly reduce climate pollution from airplanes. United Airlines is trying to stop it from happening. United needs to hear from its customers that it should get out of the way.


Petition to United:  "CEO Smisek, in order to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change and clean up the skies, we are calling on you to embrace, not impede, meaningful policy solutions that cut airplane pollution."
GOAL: 100,000 signatures

Will you sign?


United Airlines is leading the US airline industry in driving opposition to climate action for aviation.

United, along with American, filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against Europe’s climate law. United’s CEO Jeff Smisek got personally involved in opposing the law. He wrote a letter in Hemispheres, United’s in-flight magazine, criticizing the policy and calling for legislative action to exempt US airlines from having to comply. Mr. Smisek spoke out against the European climate law frequently in global media stories and on shareholder calls. He has also played a lead role in guiding the extreme anti-climate lobbying activities of the airline industry trade association, Airlines for America, where he serves as Vice President.

As one of the largest US airlines, United is an industry trendsetter and should be leading the industry in supporting climate action rather than impeding progress.


The New York Times recently reported that three cross-country USA or trans-Atlantic flight produces almost as much climate change pollution as the energy use of an average American household for an entire year. 1

Meanwhile, more and more people around the world are flying, leading to rapidly growing pollution. Left unchecked, airplane pollution will double by 2020 and quadruple by 2050, growing by 3-4% each year. The good news is that there are solutions being negotiated right now by the Obama administration and governments around the world in a forum called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

This group is currently deciding whether or not to enact a global program that will finally cap aviation pollution, driving innovation and conservation. The group has until June to make a final proposal, which will be brought to a vote next September. So there is little time.

United Airlines and other U.S. carriers are fighting tooth and nail, and are spending staggering amounts of money on lobbyists to convince the Federal Aviation Administration, the State Department and the White House to block climate action. To sweeten the pot, airlines gave more than $3 million to politicians of both parties in the 2012 election cycle alone. But we can show the Obama administration and the airlines that Americans want airlines to invest in cutting pollution instead of buying more lobbyists to block action.

In the hyper-competitive world of air travel, United Airlines cannot afford for people to know it is behind something like blocking real solutions to climate change.

Please spread the word and start by telling United Airlines to let solutions to climate change take off!

Climate change is already disrupting the atmosphere and taking a severe toll on the environment and the economy. In fact, United Airlines lost over $35 million 2 in delayed and cancelled flights because of Hurricane Sandy. As these major weather events become the new normal, airline travel is going to get more expensive and more dangerous. That is, unless we all do our part and start to reduce climate change pollution. And that includes the airline industry, dollar for dollar one of the largest emitters of climate pollution in the world. Please take a moment and tell United Airlines that there is no time left to delay and to be leaders on solutions to climate change.

In the ultra-competitive aviation business, United has a powerful incentive to respond to its customers; they just need to hear from you.

1 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/sunday-review/the-biggest-carbon-sin-air-travel.html?_r=2&

2 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323894704578105763800084352.html

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