BA begins offsetting carbon from domestic flights

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

The boss of British Airways has declared “our future has to be sustainable” as the airline begins offsetting carbon emissions from domestic flights.

Chief executive Alex Cruz told the PA news agency a “multifaceted response” is required to tackle climate change.

BA is making all its flights within the UK carbon neutral from Wednesday.

It claimed the offsetting scheme will invest in “the highest quality, verified carbon reduction projects around the world” including in renewable energy, rainforest protection and reforestation.

Alex Cruz (Nick Morrish/British Airways/PA)

The carrier operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 other UK airports, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Belfast City.

Passengers flying overseas can use an online tool to voluntarily make their flights carbon neutral.

Customers will pay around £1 to offset a return trip from London to Madrid, whereas business class flights to and from New York will cost around £15.

Some environmental groups have raised concerns over the impact of offsetting, claiming a levy on frequent flyers would be more effective.

BA is also investing in sustainable jet fuel and replacing older aircraft with more fuel efficient models as part of its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Mr Cruz said: “We know that air travel continues to grow, but we also know that our future has to be sustainable.

“Solving the complex issue of climate change requires a multifaceted response, and offsetting emissions on all flights within the UK is just one step that we are adopting to reduce our environmental impact while more solutions to decarbonise are found.

“Our emissions reductions projects are carefully chosen to ensure they are proven and deliver real carbon emissions reductions, as well as economic, social and environmental benefits.”