Cathay Pacific, Dragonair purchase additional carbon offsets

Cathay Pacific Airways and sister airline Dragonair today announced the purchase of 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions reductions from offset retailer J P Morgan Climate Care.

The offstes are for Cathay's FLY greener offset programme.

The carbon offsets were offered for sale by three projects in Mainland China - a natural gas fuel switch project in Beijing; a natural ''run of river'' hydro plant project in Guizhou; and a group of 20 wind turbines in Heilongjiang. The offsets will be resold on a no-profit basis through FLY greener to passengers wishing to offset their carbon emissions.

All three projects are registered under either the voluntary carbon standard or VER Plus, both internationally accepted carbon standards, and were rigorously vetted to ensure they produce real, quantifiable and permanent reductions in carbon emissions. Apart from their carbon reductions, the projects were chosen for their added social and environmental benefits, such as reducing local air pollution and providing power and jobs to local communities.

Cathay Pacific general manager, environmental affairs, Dominic Purvis, says, ''We are pleased to offer these new projects through our FLY greener programme and give passengers the chance to contribute directly to emissions-reduction initiatives. This significant purchase also demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting projects that not only reduce carbon emissions, but also result in additional environmental and social benefits.''

The FLY greener programme, launched in 2007, is a voluntary scheme that provides passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions attributable to their journey. The achievements of FLY greener to date include:

- From 2007 to March 2009 a total 30,000 tonnes of CO2 were offset through the programme.
- As well as individual passengers, companies based in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan have participated in the programme
-  During 2008, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair offset staff travel amounting to 11,814 tonnes of CO2 at an approximate cost of HK$900,000.