Certification, data sharing and third-party control will play an important role in the decarbonization of aviation. This is the main idea that emerged during a round table organized as part of the A World For Travel forum yesterday.
Organized in Nîmes for its second edition, the A World For Travel forum currently brings together dignitaries, academics, politicians, business leaders and global industries to reflect on solutions to sustainably transform the travel sector.
A round table entitled “The Problem and the Solution for Carbon Offsetting & Carbon capture –Technology and AI Carbon impact measurements” was an opportunity to review the role of technology in the decarbonization of the tourism sector and in particular the air.
For Kit Brennan, Founder of Thrust Carbon, carbon offsetting is based on three pillars. The first is the concept of climate additionality: the project must generate a positive environmental impact compared to a reference situation. The second is verification, each carbon offset must be checked by a third party. And the third is past action. “Compensation must have already taken place. You cannot plant trees tomorrow for an action that took place today. These trees must have been planted about ten years ago,” he specified.
For its part, Amadeus has recently invested in CHOOOSE, a Norwegian company specializing in the calculation of emissions throughout the journey, from air transport to ground transport and accommodation.. “I think it is important to inform travelers of the carbon footprint of their trip”said Lucas Bobes, Group Environmental Officer & Head of ESG Planning at Amadeus.
According to Teodora Marinska, COO/Head of Public Affairs at the European Tourism Commission, there is still a lack of consumer confidence due to a lack of transparency. “There are far too many options to compensate for your travels, it’s difficult to see clearly”she commented before mentioning the need to regulate practices.
An idea shared by Hilary Matson, Founder of Yugen Earthside, who sees some confusion among travelers regarding certifications and how their money is actually used to compensate for their travels. According to her, it is not the carbon offsetting carried out by individuals that will solve the problem.. “What is key is regulation and collaboration between governments and airlines. Governments could request that every flight be compensated or that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) be used”she explained.
“We need to put in place universal tools that we can then break down by sub-sector,” added Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC. And to set up these tools, you need data. “Calculating emissions is not theoretically complicated, you just have to get the data. But for operational reasons, airlines cannot share everything. This is why regulation is one of the solutions,” said Kit Brennan.