Because every flight is different, the most accurate way to measure emissions is on a per-passenger basis. But not all seats are created equal. The larger the first- and business-class sections of an aircraft, the more economy seats are displaced. The fewer people on the aircraft, the higher the per-person carbon contribution.
Of course, it’s not fair to count that against the people in economy — they’re not the ones taking up more room. When it studied this idea, the World Bank adjusted an individual’s carbon contribution relative to their seats. The result: Business-class and first class-passengers can have carbon footprints three to nine times higher than people in economy.
Those differences add up. The International Council on Clean Transport recently studiedthe A380, which is marketed as the “green giant,” and found its environmentally friendly label was calculated based on the aircraft’s ability to seat 850 economy passengers. In reality, a typical A380 carries 525 seats. When this discrepancy is accounted for, “the green giant” isn’t so green after all.
SMASH FREQUENT FLIER PROGRAMS
Cramming even more bodies on a plane is unlikely to win over many people for the “greening aviation” cause, though. So how about doing away with frequent flyer programs, which encourage people to fly more?
This is an excerpt from an article first published by Popular Mechanics. Read the original article here: Should We Abolish Business Class To Save the Planet?