Carbon offsetting is a voluntary way of combating climate change by funding sustainable projects all over the world
Offsetting means, in addition to purchasing a ticket, paying into a fund that invests in greenhouse gas reduction projects. The money helps to fund diverse projects; for example, to replace non-renewable fuel, such as coal, with renewable forms of energy such as biomass or solar, or perhaps to support forest restoration, which helps absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. For example, did you know that the amount of CO2 currently released in 24 hours worth of rainforest destruction is the equivalent of eight million people flying from London to New York and back?
If you’re booking a ticket and are looking to offset your emissions, dozens of airlines are already operating offsetting programmes, each with different characteristics. In most cases, the airline allows passengers to choose to offset their emissions during the ticket purchasing process. In addition, there are organisations outside of the industry providing carbon offsets for individuals and companies.
There are a wide variety of carbon offset providers available. However, we recommend that you use providers that have been audited and accepted into one of the two global standards in offsetting:
• The Gold Standard
• The Voluntary Carbon Standard
Calculators for carbon released from flights can be found on a number of airline websites, while ICAO has a generic carbon calculator available on its website. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 230 airlines comprising 93% of schedules international traffic, provides guidelines and a toolkit on carbon offsets.
Forest protection, re-forestation and renewable energy are three of the many ways in which you can offset your flight emissions
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