April 13, 2024

On Thursday, the European Client Advocacy Group, BEUC, filed a grievance with the European Fee in opposition to 17 airways.

BEUC believes that these airways falsely declare you’ll be able to offset carbon emissions by paying for sustainable aviation gas (SAF) or initiatives comparable to planting bushes or funding wind farms.

The BEUC believes that buyers are deliberately misled by the airways which will cost larger fares claiming that half is used on SAF initiatives and calls for that airways refund these funds.

BEUC’s Press Launch:

Client teams launch EU-wide grievance in opposition to 17 airways for greenwashing

Up to date on 22 June 2023 – The variety of taking part nations has modified from 22 to 23, with Dutch shopper group Consumentenbond becoming a member of our motion. The entire variety of nations lined is now 19. 

At the moment, BEUC and 23 of its member organisations* from 19 nations have filed a grievance to the European Fee and the community of shopper safety authorities (CPC) denouncing deceptive climate-related claims by 17 European airways.1 In keeping with authorized evaluation commissioned by BEUC, such claims breach the EU guidelines tackling unfair industrial practices.2

We’re calling for a Europe-wide investigation into the problem and for the involved airways – and all the sector – to cease making claims that give customers the impression that flying is sustainable. That is merely unfaithful as flying just isn’t sustainable and isn’t sure to turn out to be so within the close to future. The place airways have proposed customers to pay additional ‘inexperienced’ charges based mostly on such deceptive claims, CPC authorities ought to request airways to reimburse their clients.

BEUC members have recognized quite a few examples of deceptive practices focusing on customers:

  • Claims that paying additional credit can “offset”, “neutralise”, or “compensate” the CO2 emissions of a flight are factually incorrect because the local weather advantages of offsetting actions are extremely unsure, whereas the hurt brought on by the CO2 emissions from air journey is definite.
  • Airways are deceptive customers when charging them extra to contribute to the event of ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ (SAFs): Such fuels should not market-ready and just lately adopted EU laws units very low targets for a way a lot they need to signify in aircrafts’ gas combine. Which means that till SAFs shall be massively out there – past the top of the 2030s – they are going to at greatest solely signify a minor share in planes’ kerosene tanks.3
  • Implying that air journey will be “sustainable”, “accountable” and “inexperienced” is misleading. Not one of the methods deployed by the aviation sector are at the moment capable of stop Greenhouse Gasoline emissions. You will need to cease these claims as with air site visitors set to extend, emissions will preserve rising for years to return.4

Ursula Pachl, BEUC’s Deputy Director Common of BEUC, commented:

“When it’s crystal clear that air journey causes a big and rising share of greenhouse gasoline emissions, it beggars perception that airways freely lure customers with climate-friendly messaging comparable to “CO2 compensated” or “CO2 impartial”. We urge authorities to take the matter into their palms and crack down on this greenwashing follow critically deceptive customers.”

“Whether or not you pay a ‘inexperienced fare’ or not, your flight will nonetheless emit climate-harmful gases. Technological options to decarbonise aviation gained’t turn out to be a massive-scale actuality any time quickly, so depicting flying as a sustainable mode of transport is pure greenwashing. At a time when many wish to journey extra sustainably, airways ought to urgently cease providing customers a pretend peace of thoughts.”

“Shifting shopper demand in the direction of extra sustainable transport modes is vital to chop emissions. Airways should cease giving customers the misunderstanding that they’re selecting a sustainable transport mode. As well as, choice makers should push for options to offer customers with dependable, engaging, and sustainable alternate options comparable to higher-quality long-distance rail connections.”

Inexperienced Flying:

Obtain (PDF, 543KB)

Inexperienced Flying Findings & Conclusions:

Obtain (PDF, 1.69MB)

Greenwashing Ways Used By The Airways:

Obtain (PDF, 5.93MB)

BEUC’s Full Report:

Obtain (PDF, 1015KB)


I attempt to use trains at any time when attainable, however it’s difficult exterior of Japan and China.

These offsetting, SAF, and biofuel initiatives are a minimum of partially doubtful, and troublesome to measure their real-life effectiveness.