British Airways upgrades its carbon offset scheme, offering customers a one-click process
Tue 15 Jan 2008 – British Airways, the first airline to start a carbon offset scheme back in 2005, has gone live with an upgraded, user-friendly scheme that will enable passengers to offset the emissions from their flight in a one-click process at the time of booking online.
The approximate offset cost for a return London-Paris flight would be £1.60 ($3.10), London-Frankfurt £3.00 ($5.85), London-Lisbon £5.00 ($9.75), London-New York £17.00 ($33.25) and London-San Francisco £26 ($50)
The offset scheme, to be run in conjunction with Morgan Stanley, will support a new windfarm in one of the poorest regions of China, as well as run-of-the-river hydro electric plants in China and Brazil, projects developed under the UN Kyoto Protocol.
“We were the first airline to offer carbon offsets and we intend to remain at the forefront in this area,” said BA’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, Silla Maizey.
“The UN framework guarantees that offset payments will lead to genuine reductions in emissions through the projects we have chosen with our new provider, Morgan Stanley.
“We need a broad response to climate change: controlling our emissions with cleaner aircraft, the inclusion of aviation in emissions trading and the setting of tough international emissions targets.
“Offsetting is closely related to emissions trading. It is valuable in itself and improves general understanding of how carbon trading works.”
The UK minister responsible for environment, Hilary Benn, in welcoming the scheme, said: “After avoiding and reducing our emissions, offsetting has a role to play in helping us all to tackle climate change. That’s why Government has been working to set up a code of best practice for companies who sell carbon offsetting.”
In addition to the scheme, British Airways is to invest in a range of projects to help protect the Brazilian rainforest and will sponsor a series of workshops organized by Cambridge University to assess research needs in the drive, says the airline, to achieve scientifically robust understanding by 2012 of aircraft non-CO2 effects, such as contrails and nitrogen dioxide emissions. It is understood BA may use its own aircraft to collect data.
“While research has given us a solid understanding of the effect CO2 generated by flying has on the environment, the climate impact of our NOx emissions and other effects is currently less well understood,” a BA spokesman told GreenAir. “Recognizing that these aircraft non-CO2 effects may be important, we are committed to improving scientific understanding in this area by supporting and engaging in research initiatives.
“This work should identify gaps in knowledge, identify research areas where new research is most needed and provide estimates of the global research effort required to meet the 2012 objective.
“We are also a partner in the European Union project IAGOS, which aims to develop ways of measuring the upper atmosphere effects of aircraft.”