DfT launches call for evidence on carbon offsetting on travel, including plane

The DfT (under Grayling) has launched a call for evidence into whether more consumers could be given the option of buying carbon offsets to reduce the carbon footprint of their travel (plane, ferry, train, coach etc).  The DfT also asks if transport operators should provide information on carbon emissions. And it will explore the public’s understanding of carbon emissions from the journeys they make and the options to offset them. The transport sector contributes about a third of the UK total CO2 emissions, and these are not falling. Aviation CO2 is increasing. Presumably Grayling hopes that getting some passengers offsetting will somehow cancel out the horrific increases in transport carbon from infrastructure he has pushed through. The DfT seems aware that many people are not persuaded of the effectiveness of carbon offsetting. It seems aware that offsets should be from domestic schemes, not from abroad. But the main problem is offsetting does not reduce carbon. All it does is slightly absolve someone’s conscience, while effectively cancelling out the carbon savings made by others. Offsetting is essentially a con. Offsets are damaging, as they help to continue with “business as usual” behind the greenwashing.  See “Cheat Neutral” 

Government launches call for evidence on carbon offsetting

Call for evidence to look into if more consumers could be offered the chance to carbon offset to reduce their carbon footprint when buying travel tickets.

Ends 26th September.


  • more consumers could be offered the chance to carbon offset to reduce their carbon footprint when buying travel tickets
  • the call for evidence will also look at whether transport operators should provide information on carbon emissions
  • it will explore the public’s understanding of carbon emissions from the journeys they make and the options to offset them

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today (Thursday 18 July 2019) launched a call for evidence on offsetting carbon emissions produced by transport.

Transport accounted for approximately one third of UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, and the government is inviting views on whether companies selling travel tickets including for flights, ferries, trains and coach travel should have to offer additional carbon offsets so that consumers can choose to compensate when they book.

This call for evidence will seek more evidence on the public awareness of carbon emissions caused by transport journeys and the various options available to offset them.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Climate change affects every one of us and we are committed to ensuring that transport plays its part in delivering net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.An offsetting scheme could help inform travellers about how much carbon their journey produces and provide the opportunity to fund schemes, like tree planting, to compensate for those emissions.However, our focus remains to target the development, production and uptake of zero emission technology across all modes of transport.


Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK said:

UK airlines are committed to decarbonising aviation and are working with government to continue progress through the introduction of new greener technologies, including more efficient aircraft and engines, sustainable aviation fuels and vital airspace modernisation. As a global sector, international carbon offsetting has a critical role to play in enabling aviation to reach our targets, and UK airlines are participating in the global carbon offsetting scheme – CORSIA – which will deliver carbon neutral global aviation growth from 2020.Carbon offsetting can enable individuals and organisations to compensate for the carbon emissions produced from their journeys, by paying for projects that reduce an equivalent amount of emissions. These emissions savings are generated through a wide variety of projects, which can range from planting trees to installing solar panels.

Among the issues the call for evidence will address are concerns that some consumers may not trust that their payments are supporting worthwhile, quality projects. It will also look at consumer awareness around the carbon emissions from different journey types, what carbon offsets are available or how they might offset the emissions from their journey.The government also aims to set up a stronger and more attractive market for domestic carbon offsetting that will encourage more businesses to support cost-effective emission reductions.

In gaining valuable insights from the public and industry, the call for evidence aims to help consumers make more informed decisions by providing more information about the environmental impact of their travel options.

This is the latest move in the government’s drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from across the economy, including from the transport sector, following the Prime Minister’s historic commitment to make the UK the first major economy to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. With transport accounting for an increasingly large share of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, as emissions from other sectors are reduced, government has recognised the need to increase our ambition and step up the pace of progress.

That is why we have been developing our plans to drive down carbon emissions across transport, including in last year’s Road to Zero Strategy, our recently published Aviation Green Paper and Maritime 2050 strategy and Clean Maritime Plan. Later this year, we will also publish an ambitious Aviation Strategy which will map out our approach to ensure the sector plays its part in tackling climate change.




Consultation description

Call for evidence exploring:

  • options to improve the consumer understanding of the carbon emissions from their journeys
  • the role of carbon offsetting in transport
  • whether travel providers should be required to offer voluntary carbon offsets to their customers

Travel types include travel:

  • by train
  • by bus
  • by coach
  • by plane
  • by ferry
  • on holiday packages
  • on cruises
  • road transport


Carbon offsetting in transport: a call for evidence

Email to:


Write to:

1/33 Environment Strategy
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road


Cheat Neutral:

To appreciate the lunacy of offsetting, and how it does nothing to reduce the carbon your journey produces, see Cheat Neutral


or the longer version at

About how you can offset your infidelity, and affairs outside your relationship, by paying someone else to be faithful and celibate on your behalf.

Shows up the idiocy of it. And the danger that it encourages more of the behaviour – like Catholic “indulgences”.   Go, sin again ….