EasyJet will be the first airline carrier in the world to operate on a carbon neutral basis, according to the company’s CEO, who announced a plan to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions. EasyJet’s Chief Executive, Johan Lundgren said that the airline has calculated the cost in the first year of this program at approximately 25 million pounds sterling, but it won’t affect the price of tickets.
The money will go towards 17 different projects that have been “verified to the highest standards … audited and monitored to deliver actual offsets,” Lundgred said. The airline also plans to develop its own schemes to continue offsetting after the three-year period.
The announcement comes as the airline industry comes under increased pressure to do more towards curbing its greenhouse gas emissions, which have increased by 23 percent in Europe since 2013. IAG, owner of British Airways, announcement that it will offset carbon emissions on its domestic flights, but according to Lundgren, EasyJet “is doing more than any other major airline within this area.”
Speaking at the presentation of the company’s 2019 financial results, Javier Gándara, general director of EasyJet for Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, explained that measures such as the incorporation of less polluting airplanes, or taxiing with a single engine, has reduced its polluting emissions by 33.7 percent since 2000. The company plans to reduce them by another 38 percent, Gándara said.
The company has also announced that it has signed an agreement with Airbus to jointly investigate the development of hybrid and electric aircraft. EasyJet is already working with Wright Electric to develop a fully electric commercial plane capable of transporting passengers from the United Kingdom to any European destination in its network within the next decade.
Gándara has estimated, however, that the electric plane will not be a reality until at least 2050.