Climate Action Apathy: Hardly Anyone Bothers to Carbon Offset Air Travel

UN My World 2015 Survey of Global Priorities. Climate Action is Lowest on the List of Priorities.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Yet more evidence support for climate action collapses the moment even trivial sums of money are on the table.

Climate change: Half world’s biggest airlines don’t offer carbon offsetting

By Dulcie Lee & Laura Foster 10 May 2019

Less than half of the world’s major airlines are giving passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon dioxide produced from their flights, BBC research found.

When airlines do offer such a scheme, generally fewer than 1% of flyers are choosing to spend more.

Carbon offsetting enables passengers to balance out their carbon footprint by paying towards environmental projects.
Aviation accounts for 2% of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Prices vary but a return flight from London to Malaga, Spain, would cost around £4 to offset.

Emma Thompson: ‘If I could fly cleanly, I would’
Which airline is best for carbon emissions?

The BBC contacted the world’s biggest airlines in terms of numbers of flights and numbers of passengers.

Out of the 28 approached, less than half offered a carbon offset scheme and the majority declined to provide data on the number of passengers offsetting their flights during a one year period – often saying their figures were too low to report.

Michael Gill, a director from the international aviation trade body Iata, said: “We strongly recommend all passengers to use high-quality projects to offset their own CO2 emissions as an individual contribution to addressing climate change.”

Read more:

The article notes the highest rate of use of carbon offsets is the Australian airline Qantas, with 10% of passengers opting for a carbon offset for their flight.

Even surveys conducted by the United Nations suggest climate action is at the bottom of most people’s list of priorities.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that carbon offsets for air travel are such a low priority for passengers that half the major airlines don’t offer offsets, and when they do hardly anyone bothers to purchase an offset.

51 thoughts on “Climate Action Apathy: Hardly Anyone Bothers to Carbon Offset Air Travel

  1. S its only the politician who is really pushing the Climate Change myth.I wonder why. ?

    Answer is of course that thy first sell fear, then they sell a solution, just as long as you only vote for them.


    • Fear gave the myth traction, but the political left is so vested in the broken science, the scientific truth is too damaging to their ideology for them to accept. It’s the same reason that so many on the left can’t accept the truth that there was no collusion, the truth about the ongoing invasion at the Southern border and the truth that low corporate taxes result in growth.

      • You can smell the desperation of the left. I don’t recall ever being asked to donate (pay) a carbon offset by an Airline or anyone, for that matter.

      • ” It’s the same reason that so many on the left can’t accept the truth that there was no collusion”

        in fact it is the other way round:

        the hillary libdems do not want to accept a democratic election result,

        They are working on a coup, a coup d’état, by questioning their own staged muller-reports and wanting to waste the entire following parliamentary term with references to determined obfuscations – which are nowhere to be seen

        let alone be provable.

  2. An average commercial jet with a fairly full load of passengers is more fuel efficient than a typical commuter driving to work (60 to 100 passenger miles per gallon). Do these people pay carbon offsets for their daily commute?

    • A family of 4 can easily get 100+ passenger miles per gallon. That statistic is a bit disingenuous, and doubtful that it includes the energy to build and maintain the jet vs. building and maintaining the family car. That said, the family car cannot go where the jet can, nor as fast. So each has its benefits, and regardless of the fuel efficiency, you nailed the real question: Do these people pay carbon offsets for their daily commute? Ask Hollywood, politicians, the Greens and Environmentalists that one, and get the same answer as from AOC – nope, except for Al Gore, of course.

      • That statistic is a bit disingenuous. Planes are more fully occupied than cars. How often does the “family car” have the “family of four” in it?

        • Not sure, but far more often than you can take a jet for your “typical commuter driving to work.” Apples, oranges.

        • Other than the governator, most people don’t use planes for their daily commute.
          A more apt comparison would be taking a plane to a vacation destination vs. taking the family car.

      • It is not an apples to apples comparison as plane travel is at 547–575 mph average compared to say 60 mph for a car so the distance travelled by plane is vastly more per day (10 times more) than the distance you can travel in a day by car.

        The point is the amount of energy total per trip used is large as the distance travelled is large.

    • S,
      The whole infrastructure from mine/well/fracking site to graveyard, and the people working in it, and the airports and workers, etc., all making possible and supporting airline travel likely emit 5 times what the airplanes emit.

  3. “The article notes the highest rate of use of carbon offsets is the Australian airline Qantas, with 10% of passengers opting for a carbon offset for their flight.”
    Would that 10% be lefty travel folk in government departments demonstrating their ‘green’ credentials at taxpayer expense?

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case!
      Years ago, before we stopped flying with PC QANTAS, we refused to pay such a ‘tax’ on principle.

    • Would be interesting stat to break out.

      How many people who are actually paying for their ticket with their own money (not .gov or corporate/ngo paid travel) actually fork out for carbon offsets.

      My guess would be somewhere in the region of “too low to report”.

  4. Every now and then the cabin personnel mentions passengers proud to announce that their carbon footprint for the flight has been offset by donations to some more or less shady green entity.

    Which is a shame since no one thinks to tip those who really care of safety and comfort onboard.

    • Which is a shame since no one thinks to tip those who really care of safety and comfort onboard.

      I do. I tell them: “Buy Kelly Green Energy, Inc. at $12.50 a share.”

  5. California has cap and trade and a low carbon fuel standard. I bet almost 10% of the price of gas goes to pay for Carbon emission schemes and no one knows it. The clarity of the air in California’s smoggy valleys is probably better than the clarity in how the state is taxing fuels in such a regressive manner but with the exception of a few electric vehicle drivers, participation is 100%.

  6. I note that preserve forest and rivers is third from the bottom.

    Ref: “Free-Flowing Rivers Imperiled by Dams”

  7. “Thankyou, no.. I have already offset my flight. I’m growing an extra tomato plant this year”

  8. QANTAS?

    Given the relative small size of the Australian population we do not actually have a massive choice of carriers, but given the distance between cities flying intrastate for business meetings is very common. Redeye in the morning. Day full of meeting. Afternoon flight home.

    So a reasonably large percentage of corporate flying and given that QANTAS has the biggest range of flights then QANTAS it is probably safe to say gets the biggest share of these.

    And given the MSM constant demands that everyone needs to be greener, you can bet your company slogan that nearly all work related flights tick the offset box in the name of Corporate Image.

    Mr and Mrs Tourist certainly wouldn’t give a toss.

  9. Trump cancelled the crises. He should get a Nobel Prize for that. Heightened hype, hysteria and recycling of old debunked cataclysmic papers is just the chicken-with-head-cut-off gymnastics. The recycling suggests a press for funds -doing more with less.

    I’m reminded of making tea from bog water when mapping geology in northern Canada many decades ago, watching the pond bugs swimming in the warming billy pail, faster and faster and when the water began to boil, you threw in a hand of tea and it all settled and cleared. Trump threw in the tea.

    • Give ME 13 bucks and I’ll go to the Ponderosa stakehouse and order a Sirloin.


      • You’ve got a Ponderosa near you?? The last one in the state of Florida is up near Disney World. How I miss those cheap steaks. 🙁

  10. Liberals don’t volunteer to pay extra taxes, they don’t volunteer to reduce their own air travel, and they don’t volunteer to pay a carbon tax. They are only in favor of it if everyone has to pay. It gets to the root of their ideology, which is primarily based on jealousy, ego, and narcissism.

    • By shutting their mouths, liberals would save the environment from their 38,000 ppm CO2 exhalations — as well as sparing us from their wacky ideological statements.

  11. Voluntarily paying for a carbon offset is no different than volunteering to send the IRS more money than you owe on your taxes. Does that person think it will buy them some kind of goodwill leniency down-the-road if the IRS ever thinks later you’re a tax cheat? It is simply virtue signaling that does nothing substantive.

    It takes a special kind of stupid to believe someone else, given free money (OPM), will spend it more wisely than the person who earned it. Most especially a bureaucrat spending OPM.

    • Some people do spectacularly better at managing my money than I would, Warren Buffett for example.

      There is even the occasional public servant who can, in the face of resistance from the rest of the bureaucracy, bring a project in on time and under budget, Mark Norman for example.

      I know a guy who, in a decades long career as a civil service construction manager, always brought projects in time and on budget.

      There are a few folks who do a great job with OPM. They need to be noticed and celebrated. The rest deserve to be noticed and castigated.

  12. I encourage everyone wants to fly emissions-free to board a glider at the airport and wait patiently for a favourable thermal uplift and then a useful breeze blowing in the general direction they wish to travel.

    • How about solar powered dirigibles?

      The technology exists. And all Democrats in Congress should use them.

      • Great idea!
        If they just all boarded, took their seats, and started their usual discussions, why in no time the hot air generated would provide lift-off.

  13. I can’t read that chart without dragging out my magnification app.

    How about making the charts a little more readable.

    Climate change in last place. That’s why the CAGW promoters are getting so desperate. Instead of CAGW happening in the coming decades, the Alarmists have moved up the timetable and CAGW has now arrived and is driving every severe weather event.

    People aren’t buying it.

    I’m waiting to see if my house had a record low this morning. It’s going to be close. It looks to me like we need more CO2 in the air, not less.

  14. “Less than half of the world’s major…. to offset the carbon dioxide produced BBC research found.”
    Maybe I’ll get into this scam. Set up a programed machine. Share the profit with the airport. Charge someone a small fee to plant a tree, say $10.00. Overhead wouldn’t be much. Just sit back and watch the squirrels bury walnuts.

  15. I must say Uzbekistan airline is terrific! Back from Tashkent yesterday, really delicious food in cattle class, pretty air hostesses, hugely competent aircrew , clean and new Boeing.

  16. The airlines are committed through the International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO) to zero carbon growth after 2022. This means that the airlines can only grow if they purchase renewable fuels for all their growth miles flown or purchase off-sets for the additional fuel used. The airlines in other documents have estimated that they will grow enough to consume an additional 2 million bbl/day of fuel by 2030. This is 30.66 Billion additional gallons of fuel (using gallons of fuel per year is a favorite way for Greens to make biofuel production look incredibly large when it isn’t).
    An example of this growth is the claim by Frontier Airlines that they will quadruple their fleet by 2030.
    Now, if the airlines want to purchase renewable fuels as ICAO has demanded, and not just purchase off-sets of dubious effectiveness, They need to build 2000 each 1000 bbl/day biofuel plant (1000 bbl/day is a reasonable size plant considering feed as to be aggregated over a wide area to feed such a plant 24/7/365). Each plant will cost ~$600,000,000 (current estimated CapEx + OpEx + finance costs, etc). So to meet this commitment, airlines need investors to put up $1.2 trillion and build plants at the rate of 200/year for 10 years. Now don’t use the word “ridiculous”, use the word “Crazy”.
    This type of promise is rampant in with companies that want to look green. But in my opinion this is just lip service to the Greens and the airlines have no intension of coming close to making their commitments.

  17. In the UK we are already being heavily taxed on airfares at a rate of £78 for a long haul flight in economy, Air Passenger Duty.
    Air Malaysia currently have flights London to KL at £469 so it is taxed at 16% this is a huge additional expense for a family going on holiday.
    This was introduced in 2006 under the pretence of combatting “global warming” and has steadily increased ever since.
    Why should anyone volunteer to pay even more tax?

  18. The trouble with that UN survey is they asked people what was important to them they didn’t just tell them what is.

    James Bull

  19. Abra kadabra.

    But is it the flying carpet of

    – Abraham


    – Abrasem.

    Are national right leaning populists

    – antisemit

    OR, in the real world

    – antihamit.

    Ham, Sem – umpf, somethings in the real world is wrong. Communicated.

  20. Al’lah sagte zu ABRAHAM :

    deine Nachkommen werden sein wie die Sterne am Himmel.

    Al’lah sagte das nicht zu ABRASEM.

  21. Magic Carpet Ride


    I like to dream, yes, yes
    Right between the sound machine
    On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
    Any place it goes is right
    Goes far, flies near
    To the stars away from here

    Well, you don’t know what
    We can find
    Why don’t you come with me little girl
    On a magic carpet ride

    Well, you don’t know what
    We can see
    Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
    Fantasy will set you free

    Close your eyes girl
    Look inside girl
    Let the sound take you away

    Last night I hold Aladdin’s lamp
    So I wished that I could stay
    Before the thing could answer me
    Well, someone came and took the lamp away

    I looked
    A lousy candle’s all I found

    Well, you don’t know what
    We can find
    Why don’t you come with me little girl
    On a magic carpet ride

    Well, you don’t know what
    We can see
    Why don’t you tell your dreams to me
    Fantasy will set you free

    Close your eyes girl
    Look inside girl
    Let the sound take you away

    Songwriters: John Kay / Rushton John Moreve

    Magic Carpet Ride lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

  22. There’s been 3 little girls found burned in the proto european camp thal.

    The girls where commanded to host the fire for the next day.

    When they were found sleeping next day near the burnt-out fire they were sacrificed to their goddess of never ending home fire:

    Burned in white gowns and covered with flower blossoms.

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