One of the first travel agencies to give fliers the option to offset the carbon emissions of their flights has ceased offering the program, calling it a “medieval pardon.”
Responsibletravel.com, a UK travel agency, had been offering the offsetting option since 2002. Now it believes the best way to address global emissions is to focus on reducing emissions in the travel industry, instead of offsetting them, reports Irish Times.
“Carbon offsets distract tourists from the need to reduce their emissions. They create a ‘medieval pardon’ for us to carry on behaving in the same way or worse,” said the firm’s managing director, Justin Francis.
The unregulated nature of the carbon offset industry also played a role in the decision, and a recent report by Friends of the Earth that highlights the pitfalls of carbon offsetting was a considering factor, Francis said.
Not everyone sees the carbon offset market for eco-conscious flyers to be a thing of the past. For instance, recently installed kiosks at San Francisco International Airport allow fliers to offset the carbon footprint of their flights.