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Airline customers to help cut carbon

By | May 12th 2011

Airline customers to help cut carbon

By Fredrick Obura

Kenya Airways has established a voluntary carbon-offsetting tool to help its customers participate directly in clean projects aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

In the unique online development, passengers would be able to contribute certain amounts of money to be channeled to International Air Transport Association and UNEP identified low environment risk projects.

One of the already identified projects is the Olkaria three phase two geothermal expansion project in Kenya successfully commissioned by Orpower in Naivasha.

"This is an exciting development for Kenya Airways because it shows commitment to environment sustainability. What is more interesting is that we are giving our customers an opportunity to walk on this environmental conservation journey," said Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director.

"The development of this programme is another milestone after other similar projects including Ngong Hills Reforestation Project, newer fuel efficient aircraft and fuel saving initiatives we have employed," he added.

Kenya Airways becomes the first airline in Africa to directly involve customers to contribute towards reducing its carbon footprints, globally there are already 30 airline companies involved in the same. IATA said it is in talks with South Africa Airline to launch similar initiative.

"Carbon change is one of the biggest threats facing mankind today, finding more sustainable models and appropriate models and approaches to air travel and other forms of transport is key part to tackle the problem and catalyse transition towards low carbon, resource efficient green economy," said UN Under Secretary-General Achim Steiner.

Wider solution

"Carbon offsetting is not in itself a solution, however high quality offsetting can reduce the impact of our action and also help fund projects in developing countries that address both climate change and wider sustainability challenges," he said.

Naikuni said the Kenya Airways carbon-offsetting programme will be rolled out in three stages. "The first stage is already live on the airline’s website and its available for our operated flights," he said.

During the second phase, the solution will be made available to the network of travel agents.

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