Environment: what does the European Commission accuse 20 airlines, including Air France?

Environment: what does the European Commission accuse 20 airlines, including Air France?
Environment: what does the European Commission accuse 20 airlines, including Air France?

The European Commission has sent a letter to 20 airlines, accusing them of misleading greenwashing practices.

At issue is a fee paid by customers to reduce CO2 emissions or the use of the term “sustainable aviation fuels”.

Air France confirms to TF1info that it has received this letter.

Lack of information for consumers, unreliable tools… The criticisms addressed by the European Commission to the environmental policy of 20 airlines are numerous. The list of companies concerned has not been made public, but Air France confirms to TF1/LCI that it has received this letter. The Commission mentions “deceptive commercial practices”.

The institution suspects them in particular of making their customers pay a fee supposed to finance climate projects to compensate for CO2 emissions from planes. For the European Commission, it has not been proven that they have a positive impact on the environment. Passengers also have access to a “calculator” to quantify the environmental impact of a flight. The letter mentions that there is no “sufficient scientific evidence as to the reliability of this calculation and without providing information on the elements used for it”.

One month to provide proof

The term of “sustainable aviation fuel” is also contested, while the French group claims to be the world’s leading user of biofuels. Air France nevertheless announced last month “doubled its customers’ voluntary contributions to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuels”, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. The company is aiming for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but “without commitments, objectives and independent, clear and verifiable monitoring systems”according to the Commission.

The investigations are still at the preliminary stage, but this action by the Commission follows an alert from the European Consumer Bureau, dating from June 2023. The 20 companies incriminated now have 30 days to respond, provide evidence and comply. with European legislation. According to its spokesperson, Air France “is currently aware of the contents of the letter and will study the follow-up to be taken”. If the solutions implemented prove insufficient, the Commission could impose sanctions.


Zoe SAMIN

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