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Air travel should be restricted because it causes serious pollution and uses up the world's fuel resources

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This is an example of an IELTS Writing Test Task 2 essay question and answer about air travel, pollution and fuel resources.

IELTS Essay | Restricting Air Travel to Reduce Pollution and Conserve Fuel Resources

While undoubtedly air travel is a major source of pollution and a drain on fuel resources, the idea that it should be restricted is both implausible and impractical. However, that is not to say that greater efficiency through improved technology should not be sought in order to attempt to reduce the impact of air travel on the environment and increase fuel efficiency.

In reality, there is no stronger argument for restricting air travel than there is for restricting the pollution caused by other sources such as international maritime shipping, industry and other commercial activities, which are estimated to cause even greater pollution than air travel. Nowadays, there seems to be an emphasis on the individual having to adapt or modify their behavior in order to satisfy certain energy efficiency targets set by international bodies or governments.

On one hand, responsible use of energy resources should be encouraged by all; however, as is often the case, the public are expected to suffer before corporations or countries change their policies. In terms of transportation efficiency, an airliner full of passengers would seem to be highly efficient compared to one individual in a private car on the road and the amount of fuel required to move that individual from one point to another.

On the other hand, such a shortsighted initiative as attempting to restrict people from flying would most probably simply result in a proportional increase in overland travel, by train and car, which are even less fuel-efficient transportation methods. Therefore, the net overall result might be even worse than at present.

Overall, the restriction of air travel would have little real impact on global pollution or the drain on energy reserves when compared to the energy consumption and pollution caused in relation to industry, shipping and other commercial activities and therefore such a notion does not warrant any serious consideration as a method of pollution reduction or energy conservation.


How would you answer this IELTS essay question about air travel?
  • Is air travel a serious source of pollution?
  • How fuel-efficient is air travel compared to other forms of transport?
  • Do you think it would be practical to restrict air travel? How could it be done?

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