The topic of carbon offsetting flights has seen tremendous growth in recent years, spawning an entire side industry of consumer carbon-calculators and a wealth of both praise and critique.
With the addition of ICAO’s recent CORSIA initiative, which took effect at the beginning of 2019, CO2 reduction is gearing up as the industry’s new hot button issue.
As both carbon taxing and carbon offsetting have gathered momentum, they have garnered both proponents and detractors, in addition to the inevitable question of whether it be passengers or airlines that will end up carrying the brunt of the financial burden.
With this growing sense of personal environmental responsibility amongst travellers–coupled with a new carbon tax initiative–carbon offsetting and carbon taxing are promising a way to take back some of the damage done to the environment through travel. But at what cost?
It’s not the ethics of whether carbon offsetting is good or bad that seem to be in question, though. Rather, it’s the legitimacy and overall effectiveness of some of the ways in which said carbon is ‘offset’ which is at the centre of the debate.
If you’re interested in learning more about carbon offsetting schemes and their offset projects, The Guardian provides a non-bias investigation and complete guide to carbon offsetting.
CORSIA: Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation
Death and taxes. They are the proverbial truths that are said to be unavoidable. And in the case of CORSIA, many within the industry are hoping that later doesn’t lead to the former. In other words, a carbon tax leading to the death of ticket sales.
This is not to imply that there is a total lack of industry support on this global initiative. While it’s too early to determine the exact implications of CORSIA on flight sales, several airlines are supporting the initiative. You can find the nearly two-page list of voluntary participants here.
While this report is specific to Canada, similar reports will likely be seen across the globe as carbon taxing becomes more ubiquitous.
The silver lining and a golden opportunity
Arguably, transparency is going to be one of the key opportunities for airlines moving forward. Not only sharing the knowledge of what carbon taxes will mean to their customers and passengers, but also what specific offsetting initiatives and projects the airlines are investing in.
There can be no doubt that interest in CO2 reduction will continue to be a topic of interest and debate. On a political level, the rhetoric has become somewhat divisive and volatile. It can get tied up in partisanship, the global warming debate, and various social-economic factors–leaving both companies and consumers with a quagmire of legislation and information to wade through.
This could provide the perfect opportunity for individual airlines to get ahead of any divisive discourse around the topics of carbon taxing and carbon offsetting. While, at the same time, positioning themselves as front-runners in a global environmental movement.
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About this blog
This blog is driven by Satair Marketing & Communication with input from both internal and external contributors.
Satair is a world leading provider of aftermarket services and solutions for the civil aerospace industry. Satair is a stand-alone company and Airbus subsidiary.