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Voluntary carbon offset schemes in the airline industry. Why did they fail?

  • The market for voluntary carbon offsets, i.e. those outside the strictly regulated Kyoto framework for tradable carbon emission permits, is growing with a vengeance. With only six such organisations in the business in 2000, their number has virtually skyrocketed to more than 232 commercial as well as not-for-profit outfits today – the vast majority of which entered the trade only after 2005. This trend has not eluded the world of commercial aviation. By contrast, starting in the early millennium years, voluntary carbon-offsetting schemes were appeared to have become a serious concern for the top management of some of the world’s leading airlines. Carriers as diverse as Air Canada, British Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Qantas (incl. its subsidiaries QantasLink and Jetstar), Continental, Cathay Pacific, Japan Air Lines, Air France/KLM, the SAS Group, EasyJet and Virgin Blue, to name just a few, then began to actively encourage their passengers to pay for the ‘neutralising’ services of select carbon offset providers on top of the ticket price whenever they book a flight. Finally, also some large online travel agencies such as Expedia and Travelocity as well as leading car rental companies (AVIS) opted to invite their customers to purchase carbon offsets. However, as this chapter will demonstrate, both the economic efficiency and ecological effectives of voluntary carbon offsetting as a tool to address the challenge of climate change appear very limited.

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Author:Andreas Knorr, Alexander Eisenkopf
Parent Title (English):Aviation and Climate Change
Subtitle (English):Economic Perspectives on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Policies
Place of publication:London
Editor:Frank Fichert, Peter Forsyth, Hans-Martin Niemeier
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2020
Publishing Institution:Deutsche Universität für Verwaltungswissenschaften
Release Date:2020/09/28
Edition:1. Auflage
First Page:130
Last Page:144
Documents ordered by chairs:Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Wirtschafts- und Verkehrspolitik (Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Andreas Knorr)
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt