British Airways' Offset Greenwash

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Eighteen months ago, in September 2005, British Airways announced a plan that allowed travellers to “offset” their travel-generated emissions by paying to have trees planted. Anyone care to guess the total impact so far?

Assuming that the offsets actually did what they were said to do (not a safe assumption) — in 18 months, the British Airways scheme saved 1,600 tonnes of CO2.

That’s equivalent to four round-trip flights between London and New York on a Boeing 777. (BA planes fly that route forty times a week.)

The UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee was not impressed.