We are excited to announce that beginning July 2020, we will offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue flights. We are proud to be the first major U.S. airline to take this important step towards reducing our contribution to the climate crisis. We also plan to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in mid-2020 on flights out of San Francisco International Airport.
“Air travel connects people and cultures, and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry’s contributions to climate change,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We reduce where we can and offset where we can’t. By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for.”
We first began offsetting CO2 emissions in 2008 with programs to offset customer flying during specific times of year. Through previous offsetting initiatives, we have offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. Within just one year of offsetting all domestic flights, we anticipate that this initiative will offset an additional 15-17 billion pounds of emissions – the equivalent of removing over 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road annually.
How Does Carbon Offsetting Work?
For every ton of emissions reduced, the result is the creation of one carbon offset or carbon credit. A carbon credit is a tradeable certificate that represents the avoidance or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying carbon credits means investing in emission reduction projects that require carbon offsetting financing in order to take place. (a)
As part of our offsetting program, we select projects around the globe that will offset the use of jet fuel. Many projects operate in less economically developed countries where a bigger community impact can be made. Emissions reduction projects reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere in at least one of three ways – avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in favor of renewable sources, removing emissions from the atmosphere, and destroying emissions when possible.
These projects include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Forestry: Forest conservation projects prevent deforestation by helping voluntarily forego plans that would have converted forests for other purposes, thereby sequestering CO2 emissions from the atmosphere in trees and soil while having additional co-benefits for communities and local wildlife.
- Landfill Gas Capture (LFG): Landfill gas is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. Instead of escaping into the air, LFG can be captured, converted and used as a renewable energy resource. In addition, LFG energy projects generate revenue and create jobs in the local community and beyond.
- Solar/Wind:These projects develop expansive solar and wind farms, generating power that otherwise would have been supplied by fossil fuels like coal, diesel and furnace oil. These projects also create jobs and revenues for local communities.
As we move forward with our carbon offsetting initiative, we will continue to partner with Carbonfund.org—a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization, with whom we have worked since 2008. We have also partnered with a number of established experts in the space, including EcoAct and South Pole.
Carbon offsetting is a bridge to, not a silver bullet for, a lower carbon future. Reducing and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions is a fundamental aspect of our business plan and our mission to inspire humanity.” – Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue
What Else is JetBlue Doing?
In addition to offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel for all of our domestic flights beginning in July 2020, we are also taking additional steps to mitigate our contribution to climate change.
- More Fuel Efficient Aircraft – Our incoming 85 new Airbus A321neo aircrafts will improve fuel economy by 20 percent through newly designed engine technology and cabin changes.
- Air Traffic Control (ATC) Modernization – We are also advocating for a more efficient ATC system. Current ATC inefficiencies account for as much as 12 perfect of fuel burn and resulting emissions.
- More Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) – Starting in mid-2020, we plan to start flying with SAF from Neste on flights from San Francisco. Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel is produced 100 percent from waste and residue raw materials. Over the lifecycle, it has up to 80 percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil jet fuel. We are continually exploring SAF options and view SAF as a critical part of the industry’s transition to a lower-carbon model. We hope to be a leading figure it kick-starting the SAF market.
Sourced with permission from southpole.com/carbon-offsets-explained