Why airlines are perfect targets for anti-greenwashing legal action
(Climate Home News, 9 Oct 2023) A wave of anti-“greenwashing” litigation is seeking to hold major players in the aviation industry to account for sensational claims of being sustainable, low-carbon or contributing to net zero.
While the industry has faced legal backlash in the past, the dramatic proliferation of these cases may spell disaster for major airlines.
It’s not hard to see why the aviation industry has provoked the ire of climate activists. Flying is responsible for a staggering 5% or so of human-induced global warming and its climate impact is still growing at a rate far greater than almost any other sector.
In this context, a profusion of “green flying” and “sustainability” advertising campaigns has turned the industry into an emblematic example of the debate between growth and sustainability.
The rise in greenwashing litigation can in part be attributed to the relative ease with which cases can be brought. It’s simply a lot easier to attack an airline’s advertising compared to other activities that might be targeted by strategic climate litigation.