While more flying is great news for people who love to travel, it’s bad news for the environment. Flights were responsible for 2.4 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in
2018 — a figure expected to grow more than threefold by 2050. In the face of aviation’s rising emissions problem, the United Nations created the Carbon
Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The initiative aims to help airlines cancel out the environmental impact of growth in international flights after 2020, by making airlines buy carbon emissions reduction offsets.
How Does This Challenge Benefit Me?
You don’t have to be traveling to be concerned about your carbon dioxide emissions — anyone can buy a carbon offset. But because travel is particularly toxic to the environment, travelers may feel more compelled to account for their participation in the pollution.
People underestimate how much emissions are associated with air travel. It’s easy on a global level to say, ‘Okay, air travel is only a small portion of global emissions depending on how you look at it, and therefore it’s not a giant contributor.’ But if you do fly, then each flight that you take is likely to be a large chunk of your personal carbon footprint in a year.
In terms of carbon emissions, flying is a really inefficient way to travel, and prolific flying should be seen as a precious resource — not a necessity. However, when flights are unavoidable, buying carbon offsets is an easy, low-cost way to negate your impact.
Offsets can be an important and valuable part of an overall carbon emission reduction strategy. We all have a collective responsibility to avoid the looming climate crisis. Some people have chosen to not fly anymore as a way to avoid contributing to emissions in the first place. That’s
not the answer that many people will adopt.
What If I Already Do This?
Look into cutting air travel even more or try to completely eliminate it if possible. Flying is one of the most inefficient ways of traveling, even though it is the fastest. We need to attempt to completely change the way we travel, for the sake of preserving our environment.