When booking holiday travel, you may notice that some sites such as Google Flights now provide an estimate of the carbon emissions caused by each flight.
Rutherford: “So this is something I’m really excited about.”
Dan Rutherford directs the Aviation and Marine programs at the International Council on Clean Transportation.
He says the climate impact of various flights can vary dramatically, depending on if a flight is direct, how new the plane is, the business model of the airline, and other factors.
Rutherford: “In our research, we found that on average, a traveler in the U.S. could reduce their CO2 per trip by somewhere between 22% and 63% by choosing the least emitting carrier, rather than either the average or the highest emitting carrier over a U.S. domestic route.”
And because fuel is such a high cost for airlines, low-emission flights are often cheaper.
Rutherford: “So in most cases, you can identify a low-emitting flight and not pay extra for it.”
Rutherford says acting on this information helps create consumer pressure on airlines to reduce their climate impact.
Rutherford: “We do expect that emissions estimates on tickets is going to shift both consumer behavior and then also airline behavior.”
Reporting Credit: ChavoBart Digital Media