An investigation spearheaded by BBC News has reported that only less than half of the major airlines in the world offer passengers an ecological opportunity to offset carbon dioxide. However on the downside, when the few airlines which offer carbon offset to flyers by paying an extra fee don’t choose to pitch in for the environmental cause. Reports suggest only less than 1% of flyers opt for the environmental purpose.
Carbon Offsetting is an action to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions which occur as a result of industrial or human activities. The process of carbon offsetting involves participation in schemes designed solely to curb the reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The airline feature of carbon offsetting expects flyers to pay an extra sum, in order to help compensate for the carbon emissions produced from their flight. The money obtained through this feature is then invested in several environmental projects which aim towards carbon dioxide depletion in air. ‘Plant a tree’ or ‘Install a solar panel’, are some of the few schemes to name. Needless to say, there are also independent organizations that offer action schemes for offsetting. This issue of contribution to airline carbon offsetting has been debatable. Environmental activists argue that it is a lame excuse to continue polluting the air, whereas there are also others who are in favor of the idea.
The investigation approached airlines that offer the feature of carbon offsetting. Out of the 28 approached, less than half provided the provision, while a majority declined to provide information on passengers who opted for offsetting, determining that the number was too low. The airline offsetting price vary. For instance, a return flight from London and Cape Town cost about £20 to offset. Although British Airways do not offer carbon offsetting, it allows customers to contribute towards carbon reduction, among other community projects. Lufthansa, on the other hand, gives an opportunity to offset, but less than 1% passengers contribute. Ryanair also does not offer the feature and it also refused to disclose the passenger offset data. Surprisingly, one of the world’s biggest airline company, American Airlines, also does not offer carbon offset. Emirates also followed the suit with no offset feature. But Qantas showed about 10% passengers opting to offset.