Flak Over Offset Program Continues For British Airways

by | Jul 25, 2007

British Airways program that allows customers to offset carbon dioxide emissions from their flights is “risible,” a committee of U.K. lawmakers said, Bloomberg reports.

The plan allows passengers to buy carbon credits to offest their flights. Started with “fanfare” in 2005, the program’s profile has since been “almost non-existent,'” the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said today in an e-mailed report.

“British Airways has encouraged the purchase of only 1,600 tons of offsets on average each year, approximately the emissions from four return flights to New York on a 777,” the committee said in a report on the voluntary offsetting market. “This is risible.”

In March, MPs accused BA of not being “very adventurous” in marketing the program, claiming passengers did not know where to look for information and check-in staff had “blank expressions” when asked about it.

The Hodgkinson Group recently released a report, “Strategies for Airlines on Aircraft Emissions and Climate Change: Sustainable, Long-Term Solutions,” that evaluates possible strategies for airlines on aircraft emissions and climate change, including emissions trading.

Delta recently became the first U.S. airline to offer consumers a similar option.

Other airlines, including Air CanadaCathay Pacific, Virgin Blue, and SAS have similar programs.

The city of Denver is considering kiosks at DIA where travelers can buy carbon offsets.

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