This advert in the National Geographic is titled “See the Bigger Picture.” It is basically an attempt by Airbus to portray environmental credentials by sponsoring a biodiversity photographic competition. It has deliberately chosen the National Geographic to partner with as a further attempt to increase its environmental credentials. They are not alone Shell have sponsored similar events - see my previous comments here.
The advert claims “Airbus sees the bigger picture, and works to minimize environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering fuel consumption, and creating quieter, more efficient aircraft.”
This is misleading for many reasons but not least that they aim to maximise profits for their shareholders. This can only be done by increasing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions which contradicts the advert which is that the company aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ad also gives the false perception that the aviation industry can reduce total emissions by technological advances. It is impossible to expect that technology improvements will offset the increasing number of planes and past experience shows this. Indeed it allows more passengers to travel further.
The scientific consensus is that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050 to have a reasonable chance of avoiding runaway climate change. In this context the idea that minor efficiency improvements in aviation can be environmentally adequate is false and the fact remains that flying an A380 to Australia will always be environmentally destructive. The advert is thus misleading in deliberately ignoring this basic fact.
Join me and others in making a complaint with ASA here.