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Climate ChangeAirline Carbon Offsets: Making Air Travel Green

Airline Carbon Offsets: Making Air Travel Green

Industrial aviation has made global travel a reality for nearly anyone. But with this convenience comes a price beyond the ticket cost, which is the carbon footprint it leaves behind. While automotive, bus, or train travel often has fewer emissions, there’s no solution to ride a train overseas, making air travel the one option for long-distance travelers. 

Fortunately, airline carbon offsets allow travelers to buy carbon reduction credits that help offset their portion of the CO2 emissions their flights create. Let’s explore airline carbon offsets, how they work, and in the event that they are literally effective below. 

How Much CO2 Does a Plane Produce Per Flight?

The quantity of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), that a plane puts off per flight can vary greatly by the style of plane, its route, weather conditions, and more. Nonetheless, it is feasible to average out all business flights to find out how much CO2 emissions they produce. 

In accordance with BlueSkyModel, the typical business flight emits 53.3 kilos of CO2 per mile (0.024 metric tons). So, a roughly 2,500-mile cross-country flight from Latest York to Los Angeles would create 133,250 kilos (60.44 metric tonnes) of carbon dioxide emissions. 

What Is the Carbon Footprint of a Private Jet?

Private jets are one other animal altogether with regards to their carbon footprint. These smaller, typically less-efficient jets emit significantly greater than business airliners. They dump CO2 into the atmosphere at a median rate of 2 metric tonnes per hour. 

Are private jets eco-friendly?

At a clip of two metric tonnes of CO2 per hour of flight time — five to 14 times greater per passenger than a business airliner — private jets are anything but eco-friendly. Granted, they make up a much smaller amount of flight traffic, so their combined impact is lower than business airliners. 

One other way private jets aren’t eco-friendly is the variety of passengers they carry. A midsize charter jet can hold eight to 12 passengers. Let’s say we maximize that number at 12 people on a five-hour cross-country flight. That’s a complete of 10 metric tonnes of CO2 or 0.83 metric tonnes of CO2 per passenger. 

As mentioned above, a median business cross-country flight would emit about 60 metric tonnes of CO2. If the business flight is carrying 100 passengers, this might come out to 0.60 metric tonnes of CO2 per passenger. 

As you possibly can see, private jets are less efficient than business flights. 

How Do You Offset Carbon From Air Travel?

Airline Carbon Offsets Air Travel Front of Airplane Nosesource

Flying accounts for about 2.1% of all global CO2 emissions, so its contribution to climate change and global warming not negligible.  

You may offset the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions your flight produces— or your prorated portion of the GHG emissions — through carbon reduction credits or carbon offsets. You contribute toward carbon-reduction projects, comparable to stopping deforestation, helping reforestation efforts, adopting renewable energy, and more. 

The quantity you contribute helps reduce or prevent a certain quantity of GHG emissions, and that is the quantity of CO2 emissions you offset out of your flight. So, if you happen to took the cross-country business flight mentioned above, you’d have to purchase enough carbon reduction credits to offset 0.60 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is your share of the overall emissions the flight produced. 

What Is an Airline Carbon Offset?

An airline carbon offset is when the airline itself offers to sell you a carbon reduction credit to make you a net-zero traveler. This will be directly from the airline itself or through a third-party carbon offset seller. Over 30 IATA member airlines offer carbon offsets in this fashion. 

There’s no have to go directly through the airline’s program, though. You may buy carbon credits on your personal through providers like Terrapass. We provide a spread of carbon offset programs to assist make your travel carbon neutral and offset its environmental impact, including a flight carbon offset product that goes by the variety of miles traveled and the variety of travelers in your party. 

How Much Does a Carbon Offset Cost?

A carbon offset is often priced per ton, meaning you pay a certain quantity per ton or metric tonne of emissions reductions. The associated fee can range greatly from lower than $1 per ton to over $50 per ton, depending on the style of carbon offset program, the verified carbon standard it was developed under, the offset’s location, and more. 

Terrapass offers flight carbon reductions based on miles flown. For instance, offsetting 2,001 to 4,000 miles of air travel would cost $16. If you happen to took a long-haul flight of 10,001 to 12,000 miles, you’d pay $48 to offset it. 

What Are Some Examples of Carbon Offsets?

Carbon Offsets Emissions Coming Off of Planesource

You may pick from a spread of carbon offset programs within the carbon market, but all of them fall under one in all two categories: carbon reduction or carbon sequestering. Carbon reduction is actively lowering the carbon emissions of a company, business, or community. This could include: 

  • Installing renewable energy, comparable to hydroelectric power, wind turbines, or solar panels 
  • Installing recent, more energy-efficient machines in a factory 
  • Funding the updating of an aging fossil fuel power plant 

Greenhouse gas sequestering initiatives capture or absorb CO2 and other GHG emissions, stopping them from entering the atmosphere or absorbing existing emissions. These carbon offset programs may include: 

  • Installing a methane gas capturing system in a landfill 
  • Forestry projects, comparable to stopping deforestation or funding reforestation 

What Is the Most Effective Carbon Offset?

An efficient carbon offset leaves the world similar to or higher off than it could have been had you actively reduced your personal carbon footprint. Within the scope of a flight, this implies an efficient carbon offset no less than accounts to your portion of the CO2 emissions your flight created or more. 

Nonetheless, there’s more to it than simply the offset amount. It’s essential to also select a high quality carbon offset project. A high quality carbon offset meets five key criteria: 

  • Additional: This implies the carbon reduction program shouldn’t be a part of the organization’s normal plans, and it could not be doing this initiative without the funding this system provides it. 
  • Not overestimated: This implies the carbon reduction amounts are estimated and vetted by a certifying agency using accepted standards, comparable to the Gold Standard. 
  • Everlasting: This implies the organization cannot change its mind later and reverse its actions, comparable to cutting down trees planted to sequester CO2 emissions. 
  • Unclaimed: This implies the carbon offset has not been claimed by one other entity or organization. 
  • No social or environmental harm: Finally, a high quality carbon offset program harms nothing else socially or environmentally. For instance, a reforestation project’s land use cannot displace local native peoples or flora or pollute local ecosystems. 

So long as the carbon offset you selected meets these five requirements, it’s top quality and effective. From there, it’s all about selecting a carbon offset air travel program with methodologies and advantages you agree with. 

It’s Not Too Late To Make Climate Change Your Business. Learn More

Which airline is best for carbon emissions?

Not all airlines are created equal by way of their carbon footprint, as some work harder than others to attenuate their GHG emissions. Let’s review a few of the very best airlines for carbon emissions and what they’re doing to enhance sustainability. 

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: This airline has been hard at work reducing its carbon footprint since 2008. It has a plan in place to cut back its footprint by 15% (in comparison with 2005) by 2030. KLM also participated in a 2020 initiative to enhance fuel efficiency, enhance in-plane technology, and shift to sustainable aviation fuel. 
  • Alaska Airlines: This airline is probably the most fuel-efficient on this planet and is consistently the leading U.S.-based airline within the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Alaska Airlines can be working with sustainable aviation fuel to cut back reliance on fossil fuels. 
  • Delta Air Lines: Delta Air Lines is a household name within the U.S. and is a frontrunner in reducing its carbon emissions. In 2020, Delta committed to investing $1 billion over 10 years to cancel out all its fossil fuel emissions. It also committed to reducing all carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. 
  • American Airlines: One other household name within the States that’s amongst the very best airlines for CO2 emissions is American Airlines. The corporate made many small-scale changes, comparable to adding winglets, switching to paperless cabins, and reducing weight to enhance efficiency. But it surely’s also invested heavily in additional efficient narrow-body jets and targets a 50% emissions reduction inside 30 years. 
  • Cathay Pacific: This Hong Kong-based airline shouldn’t be only consistently amongst the very best rated on this planet, however it also focuses on being eco-friendly. It added a handful of latest, more efficient planes to its fleet and plans to change to sustainable aviation fuel, reducing its fossil fuel use by 80% over time. It also cut its fuel use by 28% since 1998 and switched to apps rather than paper in its cockpits. 

Airline Carbon Offsets Can Make Travel Green

Airline Carbon Offsets Travel Greensource

Traveling is a hobby for many individuals worldwide, however the carbon emissions related to air travel can turn off many environmentally conscious travelers. Carbon reduction credits can assist ease your mind and make air travel an option again. 

At Terrapass, we provide various carbon offset options for air travel. Simply learn how many miles you’re traveling, and our flight carbon offset calculator will determine the best offset amount — no complex emissions calculator is required. We may work directly with private airlines to offer carbon reduction credits at the purpose of sale. 

Dropped at you by terrapass.com
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