Delta Air Lines faces proposed class action over carbon neutral claims

(Reuters) — Delta Air Lines is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit over advertising touting the carrier as carbon-neutral, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court.

The complaint, filed on behalf of a California resident who bought Delta tickets to engage in “more ecologically conscious air travel,” alleges violations of state consumer protection laws and laws prohibiting unfair and fraudulent business practices.

Delta was not immediately available for comment.

The complaint alleges that Delta is not living up to advertising that presents the Atlanta-based carrier as “the world’s first carbon-neutral airline,” saying it leads consumers to believe Delta hasn’t been responsible for releasing additional carbon into the atmosphere.

Global airlines have committed to “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050, partly through purchasing offsets, which critics say do not lower actual emissions. Airlines also use sustainable aviation fuel, made from less-polluting materials like used cooking oil, but that fuel represents a fraction of jet fuel use.

In April, a Dutch court heard a nonprofit’s arguments against European carrier KLM for alleged “greenwashing” in advertisements.



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