Revealed: How many trees you'd need to buy to offset the CO2 from a Dubai-London flight

The average flight from London to Dubai produces an average of about 1 tonne of CO2 per passenger
Carbon emissions, Carbon offsets, Climate change, Global warming

Earlier this month, I wrote a column suggesting airlines from the region should include a ‘green seat’ whereby you can pay extra to offset the carbon dioxide emissions from your flight.

I was intrigued how much that extra fee would cost. Georgina Wilson-Powell, editor of pebblemag, a UK-based website which focuses on sustainability issues and green living, recommends Treedom as it allows to “track the trees you’ve planted and see their growth”.

I got in contact with Treedom and asked them how much it would cost to offset a flight from Dubai to London, the most popular route from Dubai Airport and, according to recent industry data, the third most lucrative route in the world.

According to Treedom, the average flight from London to Dubai is 5.500km, which produces an average of about 1 tonne of CO2 per passenger. Treedom’s website gives a variety of different options for plants to buy but the most CO2 productive is the avocado tree, which over its ten year lifecycle would capture 500kg of CO2.

“So if you were to try and compensate a flight from London to Dubai, on average - two avocado trees would be a good step towards that goal,” a Treedom spokesperson told Arabian Business.

To plan an avocado tree through Treedom costs €24.90 so the cost of offsetting your flight from Dubai to London would be €49.80 (AED204 / $55.55)

The Treedom spokesperson also added that you can also boost your sustainability while flying by looking at other factors that impact the environment.

“This is all dependent on the class you fly in, how much electricity you are using with movies/music, how much of the food you eat, if you reuse your beverage cups - and many more factors,” she added.

Emirates did not respond when asked to comment on whether they would introduce such a service, or ‘green seats’ as they could be called.

“I think it’s a nice idea but every airline needs to offer carbon offsetting on every seat. You can already rank airlines for their emissions (newer planes produce less) on Skyscanner and I think we’re not far off consumers choosing who they fly with based not just on price but also the airline’s commitment to offsetting and investing in greener tech,” Wilson-Powell said.

“Carbon offsetting needs to become the norm and that means making it as easy for consumers at the point of booking as possible, or including it in their flight fee. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Emirates was the first to make every seat a green one?”

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