Joe McClain - May 6, 2024
Listen to this article 00:02:05
Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio

The European Union regulatory authorities have turned their attention to the sustainability policies of 20 airlines, launching a significant investigation into potential 'greenwashing practices. ' These practices, under scrutiny, include the purported benefits of offsetting emissions from flights.

The European Commission has sent letters to airlines and national consumer protection authorities addressing various potentially misleading green claims. The Commission has not disclosed the names of the carriers involved, but the national regulatory authorities are based in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain.

The European authorities have requested that airlines submit proposals within 30 days to resolve the issues and reach a series of agreed-upon changes. National authorities have the power to sanction companies as a last resort.

The claims under investigation suggest that carbon dioxide emissions from flights can be offset through investments in environmental projects or more sustainable jet fuels, which still emit carbon dioxide when burnt but are less polluting than the kerosene currently used. The Commission specified that the airlines still need to clarify whether these claims can be substantiated by solid scientific evidence.

In response, Airlines for Europe has stated that the association's partner carriers recognize the importance of clear and transparent information on sustainability and their efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

Several airlines in the EU have introduced programs allowing passengers to contribute to carbon offset plans or sustainable aviation fuels. However, the EU Commission has raised concerns about misleading statements made by these airlines, such as greenwashing practices. The EU Commission claims that these statements create the impression that paying an additional fee can reduce or completely offset CO2 emissions from flying, which may not be accurate. Additionally, airlines have made statements about reaching net-zero emissions, but they need transparent and verifiable commitments, targets, and independent monitoring systems.

Related articles


Add Comment