Airlines Flying Into The Offset Game

Today came the possibly "too little, too late" news that airlines are to be included in the EU's system of CO2 permits trading...but not until 2012. Waiting four more years to add airlines to a possibly-flawed Euro system is hard to see as brilliant news (Swedish greenies favor a simple CO2 tax), but we'll try anyway. Just the thought of impending trading may convince airlines to implement some of the engine-efficiency and fuel-changing measures that will bring down their CO2 emissions profiles.

In the meantime, airlines seems are getting in on selling carbon offsets to customers faster than you can say "direct flight." Cathay Pacific, Continental, Delta Air Canada, British Airways and Scandinavian (SAS) all offer offsets through partners, as does easyJet. We're skeptical about offsets, as you can read here and here, but offer the basic primer on greening offsets here. The quality of what the airlines offer varies widely. Possibly a trip to any of three highly regarded offset providers - Sustainable Travel International, myclimate, or Atmosfair, might be the best course. Because in spite of the drawbacks, offsets are what we as consumers have got now. If you have to travel by plane, might as well try to find the best-quality offsets. Via ::Wall Street Journal

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