Delta Air Lines was hit with a class-action lawsuit as consumers are alleging that the airline made false and misleading claims of being the world’s first carbon-neutral airline.
The consumers claim that the company is relying on invalid carbon offsets, adding that the airline is trying to persuade customers to purchase more expensive tickets to offset their carbon.
Consumers added that the offsets used by Delta airlines have “no effect on the environment”.
“Nearly all offsets issued by the voluntary carbon offset market overpromise and underdeliver on their total carbon impact due to endemic methodological errors and fraudulent accounting on behalf of offset vendors,” attorneys wrote in the complaint.
Delta premised its claim that it was the first carbon-neutral airline on the purchase of carbon offsets – a system that facilitates investment in green programmes such as anti-deforestation and renewable energy. Companies that invest carbon offsets receive credits verifying the amount of carbon that wasn’t released because of the company’s investment.
Consumers are now claiming that the actual operation of the airline is not carbon neutral since Delta Air Lines did not achieve carbon neutrality through sustainable fuels and carbon removals as initially promised. The consumers would not have purchased tickets on Delta flights had they known the carbon neutral claims were misleading, they said.
Delta spokesperson Grant Myatt said the lawsuit is “without legal merit.”
“Delta committed to carbon neutrality in March 2020, and since March 31, 2022, has fully transitioned its focus away from carbon offsets toward decarbonization of our operations, focusing our efforts on investing in sustainable aviation fuel, renewing our fleet for more fuel-efficient aircraft and implementing operational efficiencies,” Myatt said in an email.
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