Knut Lövstuhagen
The Airline group SAS has introduced an initiative to let customers pay a voluntary carbon emission fee that contributes to environmental projects aimed to reduce the release of greenhouse gases.
updated 3/14/2007 6:13:38 PM ET 2007-03-14T22:13:38

Scandinavian airline group SAS AB introduced a voluntary greenhouse charge on Wednesday for passengers who want to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated by their flights.

The plan, which follows a similar initiative by British Airways in 2005, lets SAS passengers give money to environmental projects that have helped reduce the release of greenhouse gases, the company said. The money will be funneled through The CarbonNeutral Co., which specializes in helping companies offset carbon dioxide emissions.

A passenger flying between Stockholm and Continental Europe would have to pay an average of 4.50 euros ($6) to such a project to offset the about 300 kilos (660 pounds) of carbon dioxide released by their air travel, SAS said. Those flying between Stockholm and New York would need to pay about 20 euros ($26), according to CarbonNeutral’s Web site.

SAS Chief Executive Mats Jansson said the program was “part of the SAS Group’s environmental strategy and is a suitable complement to the primary mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol” on climate change.

The European Union decided in September that airlines that fly within the bloc will have to trade pollution allowances beginning in 2011.

The SAS group operates Scandinavian Airlines as well as regional airlines Blue1, Spanair, SAS Braathens, Wideroe, airBaltic and Estonian Air.

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