Qatar Airways has joined the growing number of airlines offering their passengers to voluntarily offset carbon emissions caused by their flight. Profits from the scheme will go to a wind turbine farm, which supplies clean electricity to the Indian National Grid.
Partnering with IATA and ClimateCare
On Tuesday, Qatar Airways officially announced the launch of its carbon offset scheme. Through a partnership with IATA and profit-for-purpose company ClimateCare, passengers can now voluntarily offset their carbon emissions when booking their flight. All funds generated through the program will go to the Fatanpur Wind Farm Project in India.
“We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways to the IATA Carbon Offset Programme. Their commitment underlines our industry’s determination to reduce our impact on the environment while allowing Qatar Airways’ customers the opportunity to lessen the environmental impact of their own travel,” Alexandre de Juniac, Director and CEO of IATA, said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
He further added that as there is no alternative to aviation for long-distance travel, carbon offsetting is a direct and pragmatic way to limit the industry’s impact on climate change.
Environmental and social impact
The program’s contributions will go to the Fantanpur Wind Farm Project in the Dewas and Ujjain districts of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The project consists of 54 wind turbines, which generate a combined output of 108 MW, and avoids 210,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Mr Robert Stevens, Director of Partnerships for ClimateCare, said that his company was pleased to work alongside the Gulf carrier. He also wished to highlight the social impact derived from the wind turbine project passengers will be contributing to.
“Their support for the Fatanpur project not only reduces global carbon emissions, it also provides employment opportunities; delivers improved education through providing materials and expertise to nearby schools; and supports a mobile medical unit – enabling improved healthcare to the local community,” Mr Stevens said in a statement.
What does offsetting mean?
Qatar is not the first carrier to implement a voluntary carbon offset scheme for its passengers. Carriers like TAP Air Portugal, KLM with its CO2ZERO concept, and JetBlue are among the names that receive credit for their focus on carbon offsetting their flights.
But what does carbon offsetting actually mean? It is a form of trade. When you buy an offset, you fund a project aimed at reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This lets people pay to contribute to the overall reduction of greenhouse gases globally (as we know, the climate has no borders) rather than refrain from their own activity contributing to more of them.
Do you take the possibility of carbon offsetting into account when choosing your airline? Do you believe it is an effective way to mitigate climate change? Let us know in the comments.