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Climate change: airlines accused of "profit before the planet"



  Aircraft at Heathrow

A whistleblower from British Airways has uncovered an industry-wide practice that purposely complicates flights and increases greenhouse gas emissions.

When refueling, aircraft are filled with additional fuel, usually in order not to pay higher prices for refueling at the destination airports.

This could mean additional annual emissions equivalent to those of a big city.

For "operational, safety and price reasons" it is customary to carry additional fuel. [1

9659003] BBC Panorama has discovered that airline aircraft produced 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide last year through fuel tankers.

Cost savings on a single flight can be just over GBP 10 – although savings of up to hundreds of pounds are possible

Researchers have estimated that every fifth European flight involves one element of fuel storage.

Practice on European routes could lead to additional annual greenhouse gas emissions This corresponds to the production of a city with 100,000 inhabitants.

According to critics, the widespread use of this practice undermines the aviation industry's claim that it is committed to reducing its carbon emissions.

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, told the BBC this was a "classic example of a company that puts profit before the planet".

He added, "That's why we can not afford another decade if we believe in the greenwash of companies and wait for voluntary CO2 reductions to occur."

"We need strict regulations to enforce that Limiting aviation emissions, because as long as there is money in the pollution, they pollute as much as possible. "] John Sauven demanded that rules and regulations are" harder "

The International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of BA, wants to be the world's leading airline group for sustainability.

To save weight, BA prints its on-board magazine even on lighter paper. [19659003] Nonetheless, BBC Panorama has seen dozens of internal BA documents indicating that up to six tons more fuel has been loaded into aircraft.

Airlines can save money as the price of aviation fuel varies between European destinations

Make profit

According to BA insiders, the company – like many short-distance airlines in Europe – has computer software that calculates whether By refueling costs can be saved.

The software calculates if there are any such cost savings. If so, the crews charge the extra fuel.

An example of panoramic documents shows that a recent BA flight to Italy brought nearly three tonnes of additional fuel.

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The additional weight released more than 600 kg of carbon dioxide – the same emissions that a person is responsible for on a return flight to New York.

The Cost Savings The trip cost less than £ 40, but the documentation provided by Panorama shows that it can be even lower.

The IAG achieved an annual profit of 2.9 billion euros (£ 2.6 billion) in 2018, of which around 80 percent came from BA.

A BA insider described the practice as "hypocritical".

"If such a large company tries to save so small amounts and emit so much additional CO2, this is unjustifiable in the current climate." ,

BA said it was common practice for the aviation industry to carry additional fuel on some flights.

The airline stated to BA that this is mainly for short-haul destinations "where there are significant price differences between European airports".

The airline's additional emissions accounted for about two per flight

& quot; Questionable & # 39;

BA pointed out that since 2012 all flights within Europe are covered by the EU ETS. [19659003] From 2020, the company will offset all CO2 emissions from its domestic flights in the UK.

Eurocontrol, the European Air Traffic Control Coordination Unit, has calculated that tanker ships in Europe will burn 286,000 tonnes of additional fuel each year and emissions of additional 901,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It is calculated that the airlines have saved a total of EUR 265 million per year through this practice. [19659003] Eurocontrol described the practice as "questionable" at a time when aviation is questioned for its contribution to climate change.

However, the BA whistleblower said, "I've been a BA employee for a long time.

" I'm very proud to be a part of BA, but frankly it makes me sad and disappointed. "

Panorama: Can Flying Go Green be on BBC1 on November 11 at 20:30 GMT.


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