In an effort to reduce its contribution to the climate crisis, JetBlue will offset carbon dioxide emissions for all domestic flights starting in July and plans to use sustainable aviation fuel on its flights from San Francisco International Airport by mid-2020.
JetBlue this week announced that it would become carbon neutral by July in response to growing concerns about how the aviation industry fuels the climate crisis. The New York-based airline said it will put money towards forest protection projects and renewable energy production such as solar and wind-powered electricity farms to offset 15 billion to 17 billion pounds (7 million to 8 million metric tons) in emissions per year.
Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon dioxide emissions, a major greenhouse gas. A recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation found that carbon dioxide emissions from the sector increased by more than 30% between 2013 and 2018, a figure that's expected to triple by 2050 - which is obviously very bad news for an overheating planet.
While carbon offsetting may seem like a good solution to the climate crisis, a recent EU study found 85% of offset projects studied failed to produce the promised carbon reductions. JetBlue said that it's aware of the criticisms and confirmed that the carbon offset projects it selects are independently audited and verified, and are designed to avoid issues like double-counting and over-estimation.
"We reduce where we can and offset where we can't," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in the statement. "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."
In addition, JetBlue announced that it would use sustainable fuel on flights departing from San Francisco by mid-2020 with 'Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel,' which the company said has the capacity to reduce climate-affecting carbon emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel. The airline will also work towards replacing older aircraft with more efficient models.