Thursday, October 14, 2021
Flights are easy to offset using the Compensate app
Giving up flying is a significant climate action but when flights are unavoidable, it’s worth compensating their emissions. Aviation is the cause of around 2.5 percent of the global CO2 emissions, but in reality, its impact is a lot bigger. Giving up flying is almost always the largest climate action an individual can take. “We should all have a carbon footprint of 2,500 kgCO2 or less to achieve a globally sustainable level. The emissions caused by one long-haul flight are around 2,000 or 3,000 kg of CO2, and it is obvious that at this stage of the climate crisis flying should be avoided”, says our Chief Impact Officer Niklas Kaskeala. If flying is unavoidable, emissions can be minimized by choosing an airline with a modern fleet, and by avoiding stop-overs. On short-haul flights it is worth choosing a turboprop, which consumes half of the fuel of a jet. Your remaining flight emissions are easy to compensate using a feature in our app, which takes into account the full climate impact caused by flying. For instance, the emissions caused by a return flight from Helsinki to London are around 810 kgCO2, which costs just over 20 euros to compensate. We direct all compensation funds towards carefully selected, and already actualized, carbon capture projects that have a scientifically verified climate impact. We carefully assess the risks involved and overcompensate with project-specific risk ratios so that we can ensure that the effects of the compensation are greater than the damage caused by emissions.
Emissions caused in the atmosphere triples their impact
Flight emissions are mainly caused by the usage of jet fuel. The higher up in the atmosphere greenhouse gases are released, the bigger their climate impact is, which is why a so-called Radiative Forcing Index should be used when evaluating their full effects. According to current knowledge this index has a value of 3.0, which means that the true impact of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions caused by aviation is actually equivalent to 3.0 tons of CO2. Airline companies often consider only 30-40% of the real emissions in their offsetting schemes, and they don’t overcompensate appropriately either. This explains why compensating through airlines might cost just a few euros. Kaskeala hopes that exposing the true impact of flying will increase awareness and make individuals and companies reevaluate and change their travel habits. “It might come as a surprise to many how huge flight emissions actually are, and how expensive it is to compensate for them. Maybe it will make people think whether flying is always necessary,” he says. The true cost of aviation is also distorted by the tax exemption on kerosine and VAT on international flights based on international legislation. If aviation was taxed similarly to road traffic, its prices would double. Kaskeala believes that it is the politicians’ responsibility to get the taxation right. If it was up to him, airline companies would be forced to state the true emissions of each flight to help consumers make decisions based on facts, not emotions created by advertising. “Everyone must decide for themselves when flying is necessary. If you compensate through us, then you can at least be sure that all of the effects of your flight on the climate will be taken into consideration.”
Compensate for flights in just a few minutes
Download the latest version of our Compensate: Climate Action app.
Open the app and click on the airplane symbol at the top left corner to add your flight details.
Our app calculates the full emissions based on flight distance and travel class.
You can also compensate for any previously taken flights, or use the app to evaluate the climate impact of different flight options you are considering.
You can pay the compensation fee using a credit card, a debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
With the Compensate app, you can understand your
Offset your flight emissions with a few simple steps!
Available in most EU countries and the UK – more countries to come!