Voluntary carbon offsets in the aviation industry : how environmental knowledge affects travellers willingness to pay : a systematic review
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Although the amount of emission per passenger seat kilometer in the aviation industry is constantly decreasing through technological advancements and improved operations, the industry cannot negate its vast increase in total emissions. The driving factors behind aviation’s’ growing impact on the climate is the steep increase in passenger number. One mechanism which can be utilized to counteract these impacts are voluntary carbon offset schemes. By using a systematic quantitative literature review, this study reveals the over-arching connections between the environmental knowledge of study participants and their willingness to pay for carbon offsets. One major gap revealed was the lack of studies cooperating with the industry, which could have provided useful data on booking and purchase behavior. Although some studies found social-demographic factors as age, gender and education to be a reasonable predictor for the WTP, the majority did not confirm these, indicating effects of the regional and cultural background of the studies. A Network Analysis revealed a separation between offset related aspects into “impacts of carbon off-sets” and “offset projects types” including “co-benefits”. Aside from this, two major clusters were found. One surrounding different parties’ contribution to climate change, awareness and responsibility, the other forming around aspects of the new ecological paradigm and environmental impacts. Knowledge on one’s own and aviation’s contribution to climate change and the subsequent responsibility passenger’s felt or rejected consistently played a key role in the voluntary engagement with carbon offsets. Aspects of awareness however did not consistently increase the WTP. This leads to the assumption that mere awareness campaigns might not be a suitable tool to increase adoption of voluntary carbon offsets. ...
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