Air France and Lufthansa are among the airlines that misled customers by suggesting there were greener ways to fly, a watchdog has ruled.
Separate judgments handed down by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Wednesday say Air France-KLM, Lufthansa and Etihad Airways each fly in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner by choosing the airlines they travel with. It banned advertisements that suggested it could be done. competitors.
Lufthansa was mentioned by the ASA in March when it ran an ad that said it was “protecting our future”. This was followed by his July ad encouraging customers to “fly more sustainably” by choosing their airline.
“Air France is committed to protecting the environment and making travel better and more sustainable,” Air France-KLM boasts in its advertisement.
In its response to the ASA, Lufthansa promotes its “green fare” option, which uses some sustainable fuel for its flights, while offsetting the remaining CO2 emissions by engaging in environmentally friendly programs. He said he sent a Google callout to the customer.
The airline said it was unable to incorporate this information into its advertising and subsequently removed the phrase “Fly more sustainably” to avoid confusion.
However, the ASA ruled that this claim led consumers to believe that Lufthansa could offer a more sustainable way to travel compared to other airlines, and that the ad, along with Air France and Etihad Airways, Publication was completely prohibited.
“ASA believes that claims that people can fly more sustainably” with Lufthansa mean that consumers are We thought they would understand,” the group wrote.
The watchdog said there was no evidence that airlines had found a solution that would allow consumers to travel with “complete peace of mind” that they were protecting the environment while flying.
Air France, Lufthansa and Etihad Airways did not immediately respond. Fortune’s Request for comments.
Carbon offset attracting attention
Aviation continues to be a significant net pollutant contributing to anthropogenic global warming.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), it will account for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2022. Most airlines have plans to become carbon neutral by 2050.
To achieve this goal, carbon-free air travel is gradually being promoted through the use of sustainable fuels and the development of electric aircraft, although these technologies are still in their infancy.
Although some airlines are working on carbon offset programs such as tree planting, methane capture, and investments in renewable energy, there is currently no way to fly without emitting high levels of carbon dioxide.
The ruling adds to claims that these carbon offset programs, which have been popularized by high-polluting companies to relieve climate guilt, are not enough to erase companies’ climate impacts. It is important because
It will also face widespread criticism from experts and scientists, who say the plan is a ruse.
Most companies engage in carbon offsets by investing in renewable energy such as wind, solar, and hydropower. However, these fuels are so cheap that they have been criticized for minimizing funding for carbon offset projects.
Businesses are now starting to cool down completely on carbon offset schemes. bloomberg Reports show that carbon offset purchases by banks, airlines and other major industries fell last year for the first time in at least a decade.