Air France passengers vote on carbon offset projects

January 14, 2020
carbon offset Air france
Photo: Air France.

Air France customers are getting to vote for a project that will help offset the carbon emissions of 450 flights and 57,000 customers per day.

Air France is one of a cluster of airlines offsetting 100 percent of C02 emissions on all domestic flights but the French twist is customers will get to decide where some of the money goes.

READ: Rolls-Royce robots build greener engines.

The move comes as airlines are keeping a wary eye on the growth in Europe of “flight shaming”, the movement that attempts to convince people to not fly for environmental reasons.

The carrier’s offset program on flights within mainland France began January 1.

The offsetting takes the form of participation in internationally certified projects in areas such as reforestation, forest preservation and biodiversity as well as renewable energy.

Passengers have until January 17 to choose between projects such as a forest preservation project in Brazil’s Amazon River delta,  a photovoltaic program in Senegal to provide clean electricity to people who do not have it and a biogas production program in Vietnam that develops a new energy source from waste.

The program receiving the highest number of votes will, starting this year, be included in Air France’s offsetting initiative.

Eight other projects on four continents have been selected as participants and launched in partnership with French offsetting pioneer EcoAct.

British Airways is also offsetting all domestic UK flights and JetBlue announced last week that it would do the same in the US from July 2020.

The US low-cost carrier also plans to start flying using sustainable aviation fuel from San Francisco International Airport from mid-2020.

BA’s carbon offsetting commitment affects 75 daily flights between London and 10 UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Jersey and Glasgow.

A global carbon offset scheme for international flights is also being introduced and is backed by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization.

Called CORSIA, it is expected to reduce aviation CO2 emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes from 2020 to 2035.