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BA will offset its carbon emissions, starting with UK domestic flights from 2020

BA will offset its carbon emissions, starting with UK domestic flights from 2020

Old Oct 10, 19, 1:41 pm
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BA will offset its carbon emissions, starting with UK domestic flights from 2020

Posted today on BA’s Media Centre:

BRITISH AIRWAYS TO BECOME FIRST UK AIRLINE TO OFFSET CARBON EMISSIONS ON FLIGHTS WITHIN THE UK FROM 2020
October 10, 2019
  • Airline announces plan to offset carbon emissions for all UK domestic flights from 2020
  • British Airways to invest in verified carbon reduction projects around the world
  • From 2020, British Airways’ carbon emissions on international flights will be capped through the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme
  • Announcement comes as parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) announces commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050


From January 2020, British Airways will become the first UK airline to offset carbon emissions on all its flights within the UK.

All customers flying within the UK next year on flights operated by British Airways will have the carbon emissions from their flights offset by the airline and invested in carbon reduction projects around the world*. These quality assured projects will include renewable energy, protection of rainforests and reforestation programmes.

The airline operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Inverness and Jersey. British Airways’ domestic emissions total around 400,000 tonnes of C02 a year.

Today’s announcement comes as British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), became the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, contributing to both the UK Government’s commitment to a net zero carbon economy by 2050 and the United Nations’ objective to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. IAG’s emissions’ goal will be achieved through numerous environmental initiatives, including investing more than US$400m in the development of sustainable aviation fuels over the next 20 years.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “British Airways is determined to play its part in reducing aviation’s CO2 emissions. To solve such a multi-faceted issue requires a multi-faceted response and this initiative further demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable future. It also follows our announcement to partner with renewable fuels company, Velocys, to build a facility which converts household and commercial waste into renewable sustainable jet fuel to power our fleet.”

While customers on UK domestic flights will not need to offset their emissions, those travelling further afield can also reduce their impact on the environment by using British Airways’ carbon offsetting tool. The carbon tool enables customers to calculate their emissions and then invest in carbon reduction projects including high quality forestry and renewable energy projects in Peru, Sudan and Cambodia**.

Using the tool, which can be accessed on https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba/carbon_zero, a customer will pay around £1 to offset a return flight from London to Madrid, travelling in economy, while from London to New York in business class will cost around £15.***

ENDS



Notes to Editors

* British Airways is investing in Verified Carbon Standard projects.

**British Airways’ offset scheme is operated through the airline’s partnership with not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. For more information on the carbon reduction projects, visit: https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba

***While customers travelling on domestic flights’ carbon emissions are offset for them, customers flying outside of the UK can choose to pay to offset their emissions. Examples of pricing are shown below:

Journey, Cost to offset
London to Madrid (economy) £ 1
London to New York (economy) £ 5
London to New York (business) £ 15
London to Los Angeles (economy) £ 8
London to Los Angeles (business) £ 24
London to Hong Kong (business) £ 26

Customers can find a link to the carbon calculator at https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba/carbon_zero


Further information

British Airways has taken a responsible approach to managing growth in carbon emissions for more than 20 years. Since the introduction of EU emissions reduction regulations (known as the European Trading System or ETS) in 2012, the airline has reduced emissions on European flights by more than eight million tonnes – around 40% on every European flight.

In addition, from 2020, British Airways’ carbon emissions on international flights will be capped under a worldwide carbon pricing scheme called CORSIA, (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). Along with many other airlines, British Airways will reduce its emissions by investing in a diverse range of projects around the world. British Airways worked with all parties in the ten years before the introduction of the scheme to ensure it came to fruition. CORSIA will reduce aviation’s emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from 2020 – 2035.

British Airways is investing £6.5bn for customers over the next five years including a significant investment in new aircraft which are up to 25% more fuel-efficient than the aircraft they replace. The airline is currently operating more than 44 of these aircraft, including 787s, A350s and A320neos, and has a further 73 on order.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 2:54 pm
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OK, its a good thing to do , and its good PR.

I might even pay for offsetting our l/h burden.

I'd be even happier to hear about a multi-£m investment in IT, though.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 3:29 pm
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This move while good PR for BA, is the first major step on a long journey towards carbon neutrality. IAG is an advocate of the new global emissions scheme (outlined below) established by the aviation industry which will be implemented in 2021, I believe.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or CORSIA, is an emission mitigation approach for the global airline industry, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and adopted in October 2016. Measures include primarily offsets and "alternative" fuels. CORSIA addresses only emissions from international air travel that exceed the baseline of 2020 levels.
CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, addresses the increase in total CO2 emissions from international aviation above 2020 levels.

CORSIA’s obligations have already started. As of 1 January 2019, all carriers are required to report their CO2 emissions on an annual basis.

The aviation industry is committed to technology, operational and infrastructure advances to continue to reduce the sector's carbon emissions. Offsetting is not intended to replace these efforts. Nor would the CORSIA make fuel efficiency any less of a day-to-day priority.

It is forecast that CORSIA will mitigate around 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 and generate over USD 40 billion in climate finance between 2021 and 2035.

Download our factsheet on CORSIA (pdf) and our paper on aviation and carbon offsetting (pdf) for more detailed information.

Carbon Offsetting
Offsetting is an action by a company or individual to compensate for their emissions by financing a reduction in emissions elsewhere. Offsetting and carbon markets are a fundamental component of global, regional and national emissions reduction policies. They have operated for decades for compliance purposes and voluntary emissions reductions and continue to be an effective mechanism to underpin action against climate change.

Environmental integrity
There are many ways to achieve CO2 reductions that can be used as offsets, many of which bring other social, environmental or economic benefits relevant to sustainable development. Such offsets can be sourced from various types of project activities, including, for example, wind energy, clean cook stove, methane capture and other emissions-reducing or avoidance projects.

To ensure the environmental integrity of CORSIA, ICAO will adopt a list of emissions units that can be used for compliance. The decision will be guided by eligibility criteria (link to emissions unit criteria) to guarantee that emissions units deliver the desired CO2 reductions. The criteria are based on principles commonly applied under existing trading mechanisms and well-accepted carbon offset certification standards.

See also IATA's position on the avoidance of double counting under CORSIA (pdf).

Environmental impact of CORSIA
CORSIA is a global scheme. As a result, CORSIA will overall result in a greater CO2 mitigation in international aviation than any domestic policy for aviation can achieve. It is forecast that CORSIA will mitigate around 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 between 2021 and 2035, which is an annual average of 164 million tonnes of CO2. This represents an investment of about USD40 billion in climate projects (assuming that the price of carbon will increase from USD8 in 2021 to USD20 in 2035).

A multilateral approach
On 27 June 2018, ICAO adopted the international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for CORSIA as Annex 16, volume IV, to the Chicago Convention (link). The adoption of global standards for CORSIA will ensure the necessary level of uniformity in regulations which our industry needs. Uniformity is not only key to prevent market distortions, but also to preserve the environmental integrity of CORSIA.

Whilst emissions from domestic aviation are subject to country-specific actions and therefore fall under the scope of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, ICAO was mandated to address emissions from international flights.

International cooperation, including in addressing environmental impacts, is critical for a sector like aviation. This is why, in the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, states committed to collaborate in securing the highest practicable degree of uniformity in regulations and bring their domestic regulations in line with the international standards adopted by ICAO in Annexes to the Chicago Convention.

Avoiding the patchwork
In order to avoid a patchwork of uncoordinated regional and domestic policies for international aviation, political agreement for CORSIA was achieved on the condition that CORSIA would be the only market-based measure applied to international flights and on the basis that emissions should not be accounted for more than once.

Unfortunately, the success of CORSIA may be jeopardized by the national policies of some states. Of particular concern is that some states are applying or considering the application of a carbon pricing instrument or ticket tax to address emissions from international aviation, on top of CORSIA. Such policies are not only against the international commitments of these states, they also undermine multilateral efforts to deal with climate change and put at stake the credibility of the global approach, potentially compromising the international support for CORSIA at a critical time for its implementation.

See our factsheet on CORSIA and carbon pricing (pdf).
Source: https://www.iata.org/policy/environm...es/corsia.aspx

References:
https://www.carbonbrief.org/corsia-u...ons-after-2020
https://www.icao.int/environmental-p...s/default.aspx
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Old Oct 10, 19, 3:59 pm
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I assume this is more to do with BA being rattled by the fact that an escalating tax on frequent flyers is gaining popularity (it’s now a Lib Dem policy)...
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Old Oct 10, 19, 4:02 pm
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Well done BA. And let’s hope we see the other UK airlines follow suit (particularly the orange one...).
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Old Oct 10, 19, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
Posted today on BA’s Media Centre:

...

The airline operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Inverness and Jersey. British Airways’ domestic emissions total around 400,000 tonnes of C02 a year.

...


[Turning picky mode on. ]

The Isle of Man and Jersey are not really cities. And neither of them is in the UK.

What is C-zero-two?
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Old Oct 10, 19, 6:45 pm
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All well and good but unless you get China and India to sort out their acts, i’m afraid this is just a drop in the ocean.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 11:04 pm
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China and India do a very good job overall on energy efficiency. This is contrary to received wisdom, but worth looking at the free reports downloadable from the IEA - you need to register but there’s some great stuff there, including a great energy report for last year which has a lot of fascinating detail and a special report section on aviation. China and India feature in the industry section.

The big culprit is the US, and given the bleating in California because of power shutdowns to avoid liability for forest fires, I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon.

There are no painless paths to decarbonisation. There has to be massive investment, this will feed through to prices and taxes. Renewables aren’t cheap and free. This is also where extinction rebellion are profoundly unhelpful, their idiotic emotional responses polarise opinion and make more people sceptical, the ‘what about china’ reaction is a natural reaction to being asked to return to the 12th century by a crusted trustafarian.

BA is window dressing here, and unfortunately this sort of PR gesture is about positioning, not impact. And no, I’m not planning to travel less, but part of my day job is around industrial decarbonisation, there is more genuine impact there.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 12:20 am
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Carbon offsetting is just a way for corporations to avoid having to actually reduce their carbon footprint. If BA were serious about the issue then they could "invest in verified carbon reduction projects around the world", as the press release puts it, and make greater efforts to reduce the amount of carbon they produce.

Media reports suggest that this initiative will cost BA €3.2m per year, which is a drop in the ocen of BA's profits. In the meantime, they will fly the dirty, gas-guzzling 747s for another five years, and plan to take 30 years to become carbon-neutral.

As @bisonrav says, this is just PR window-dressing.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 12:28 am
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To be fair to BA they are investing long term as well, as are most corporations, but there is intense pressure from activism to do things that are visible if futile.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 7:55 am
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Ah, BA .. you can make the check out to me..
dont forget to spell my name correctly... thanks
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Old Oct 11, 19, 9:33 am
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How does a business seat produce more CO2 than an economy seat? More weight to transport or does the champagne have an effect?
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Old Oct 11, 19, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by muscat View Post
How does a business seat produce more CO2 than an economy seat? More weight to transport or does the champagne have an effect?
Yes it's all the bubbles in the champagne.

Seriously I think the CO2 calculation is something like -

CO2 produced by flight / Square Footage available x Sq Ft used by passenger = Passenger CO2 footprint.

As a business or first seat takes up for room, it produces more CO2.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 10:46 am
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So, Prospero, what do you think about this when you're already over-offsetting via APD according to your calculations here: Would a FF tax stop you chasing BAEC status? ?

Would you like a rebate on your APD since BA are doing the environmental bit for you?

It seems only reasonable
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Old Oct 11, 19, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by milkyway88 View Post
Yes it's all the bubbles in the champagne.

Seriously I think the CO2 calculation is something like -

CO2 produced by flight / Square Footage available x Sq Ft used by passenger = Passenger CO2 footprint.

As a business or first seat takes up for room, it produces more CO2.
Maybe time to start weighing passengers as well as luggage and base the price on the combined weight.
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