May 25, 2022

Last week we talked about a report by a climate change charity, which claimed that UK airlines had only met one of 50 published sustainability goals over the past decade.

This week it’s the turn of Dutch climate change activists, who are taking KLM to court, claiming that its advertising is misleading and constitutes so-called ‘greenwashing.’

Quoted in CNBC, Hiske Arts, from campaign group Fossielvrij NL said:

“KLM’s marketing misleads consumers into believing that its flights won’t worsen the climate emergency. But this is a myth,”

“We’re going to court to demand KLM tells the truth about its fossil-fuel dependent product. Unchecked flying is one of the fastest ways to heat up the planet. Customers need to be informed and protected from claims that suggest it is not.”

The basis of the groups’ legal action is that KLM, like other airlines, plans on growth, which climate change groups say is incompatible with a sustainable future.

Hence they say that the airline’s ‘Fly Responsibly’ campaign’, is wrong as the airline will continue to be a contributor to climate change.

Ultimately the aim of most climate change groups is to bring about a drastic reduction in flying.

Ideally they’d like to see the lower levels of mobility that we saw during the pandemic to be the new normal, until there’s a viable net zero solution (and many climate change groups are sceptical on SAF).

As a result, we can expect any airline ‘green’ campaign to be under similar scrutiny in future, and airlines should be prepared for them to challenged, sometimes even in the courts.

In our latest episode of our ‘Sustainability in the Air’ podcast, Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of sustainable aviation fuel company GEVO, speaks with SimpliFlying CEO, Shashank Nigam.

Amid growing concerns of climate change, the aviation industry is in dire need of sustainable low-carbon alternatives to jet fuel.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has emerged as a promising solution to address these concerns.

Gruber explains that SAF technology has existed for quite some time but its recent popularity can be attributed to two major factors: the evolution of carbon markets and the rise of conscious consumers.

Listen to the whole episode here, and for every listen, our partners at Carbon Click plant a tree!

Previous Newsletters

In Conversation: Jeremy Bowen, Cirium


In Conversation: Adam Goldstein, Archer Aviation


In Conversation: Airbus’ Amanda Simpson


Report: The Rise of Green Travel 2023 – 2028

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