With the growth in air travel demand forecast to outstrip fuel efficiency improvements, the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions goals can only be achieved through the purchase of carbon offsets. However, says a new study, there is considerable misunderstanding about offsetting and the difference between scientific and policy perspectives. Through their customer carbon offsetting schemes, airlines have already built partnerships with offset providers but it is important they correctly communicate the climate change benefits, say researchers from Griffith University in Australia. A total of 139 airlines were analysed in a study to investigate what information they provided on their role in carbon offsetting and whether the option was offered to their customers, with 44 airlines found to be actively involved. The researchers provide a number of best-practice principles to help airlines improve the reporting of their offsetting schemes.
“The key message of our paper is really to understand that carbon offsets play an important role in addressing climate change, but not in the sense that they make emissions ‘go away’ in some miraculous manner, but that they help slow down the flow of emissions into our atmosphere,” said Professor Susanne Becken of the Griffith Institute for Tourism, who co-authored the paper with Professor Brendan Mackey of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.
This is an excerpt from the Greenair Online article: “Carbon offsetting can play an important role in achieving airlines’ climate goals, says study, but finds low level of understanding“.