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UK Travel Agents Association Developing Plans for Carbon Offsetting

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is working with the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) to develop a scheme for offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from travel.

ABTA views the scheme—to be launched next year—as an important and practical way for the industry to deal with carbon emissions.

The carbon off-set scheme we will be launching aims to make a clear connection between the money invested and projects in the kind of destinations where people go on holiday. Currently there aren’t enough destination-related projects around. It’s important that consumers can make that link as it will encourage more to use the scheme.

It’s not the solution, but it’s one of the recognized ways to tackle the inevitable impact of current travel pattern. It’s just one part of our longer-term strategy on sustainable tourism generally.

—Keith Richards, ABTA Head of Business Development and Consumer Affairs

ABTA recently met with the Government Office for Climate Change to discuss plans and representatives from that department are attending the ABTA Travel Convention.



The details will need to be looked at when they are announced. It appears as though the destination country will get money for tree planting or renewable energy projects. If that's correct it doesn't mean the CO2 from the flight will be absorbed in a guaranteed amount and time frame; the trees take decades to grow and the clean energy project will not displace existing emissions. If it weren't for rising fuel prices this could encourage people to travel 'guilt free' so that emissions would ironically increase. I think the answer is renewable fuel or simply travelling less.

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