Easyjet will be dropping the automatic offsetting of its flights at the end of 2022. The airline started offsetting passenger flights in 2019 and says that to date (until June 2022), it has offset nearly 8.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions.
Easyjet’s roadmap for decarbonisation has been validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
SBTi requires airlines to decarbonise within their own operation and does not take into account the use of out-of-sector carbon offsetting, or other market-based mechanisms such as the EU Emissions Trading System or CORSIA.
As a result, the airline says it will “transition its investment from out-of-sector carbon offsetting, which it has always been clear is a short-term measure, into supporting and facilitating the individual elements of its roadmap to make net-zero a reality, as demonstrated by the investments undertaken to-date.”
In 2019 when the offsetting was announced, the airline said it believed “flying is important” but that it must be balanced “with the effect we know it’s having on the planet”.
The cost of offsets were not passed onto the passenger, and the programmes included reforestation and the prevention of deforestation, investment in renewable energies and working with communities to reduce their emissions.
Easyjet supported the Pulau Borneo Project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, which, according to its website, over a decade has “successfully defended 64,500 hectares of carbon and biodiversity – rich lowland peat forest from conversion to palm oil plantations, which surround the project area and the adjacent Tanjung Puting National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.”
In the new announcement, Easyjet says it will continue to offset on behalf of its customers for flights booked until the end of this year, with flights covered well into the next year.
From January 2023, the airline will offer a voluntary offsetting option for its customers.