Netherlands

Fossielvrij NL takes KLM to court for ‘misleading’ CO2 claims

Photo: ANP

The Fossielvrij NL Foundation is continuing a lawsuit against KLM. The environmental organization believes that the airline still misleads consumers with advertisements about sustainable flying. A conversation recently failed to bring the company and activists closer together. That is why Fossielvrij NL has filed a case with the court in Amsterdam. The organization had previously threatened to do so.

According to the plaintiffs, this is the first lawsuit worldwide against “misleading sustainability claims” from aviation. They feel empowered by a decision by the Advertising Code Committee (RCC), which ruled in April that KLM misled consumers by flying CO2-neutral. Terms such as “CO2 neutral” and “CO2ZERO” are absolute claims, the committee ruled. A lot of evidence is needed for this and KLM cannot provide that sufficiently.

The company subsequently adjusted advertising texts somewhat, but according to Fossielvrij NL they are still misleading. According to the organization, the company is “undermining” “urgent climate action” by giving customers the idea that they can really make up for the environmental damage caused by flying.

Like other airlines, KLM offers customers to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. The money will be invested in reforestation projects. While it is true that trees absorb CO2, according to the complainants, KLM “cannot legitimately claim that these kinds of contributions can undo the climate effect of flying”.

“The reality is that flying causes an enormous amount of emissions,” says campaigner Hiske Arts of Fossielvrij NL. According to her, the sector simply has to shrink. “Fortunately, many people are starting to realize that aviation cannot continue to grow, but KLM is suppressing that growing awareness with marketing.”

In addition to reforestation, KLM also promotes itself with more sustainable aviation fuel, which leads to fewer emissions. Fossielvrij NL points to data from the airline itself, which states that in 2019 only 0.18 percent of the total amount of fuel was extra sustainable. At the beginning of this year, this was raised to 0.5 percent for flights from Amsterdam. Customers can voluntarily pay extra to further increase that percentage.

According to KLM, sustainable fuel leads to 75 percent less CO2 emissions than conventional kerosene. The costs are still four times higher and “production is lagging behind”, according to the company at the beginning of this year.



Fossielvrij NL takes KLM to court for ‘misleading’ CO2 claims
Source link Fossielvrij NL takes KLM to court for ‘misleading’ CO2 claims

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