A newly formed alliance hopes to be able to introduce a standard calculation for carbon emissions from aviation by the end of the year.


The International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) was launched this week by Carbon Clear, the CarbonNeutral Company, ClimateCare, co2balance, targetneutral, Australian-based company Climate Friendly and US firms Native Energy and TerraPass.


Between them they claim to account for about 95% of the over-the-counter trade in carbon offsets.


Climate Care executive director and spokesman for the group Edward Hanrahan said it is hoped ICROA will be able to standardise the arithmetic for working out carbon emissions – a process which should be helped by the formation of the body and pooling of resources.


He said: “We’re trying to get open access to all available research [on carbon emissions]. We need total openness on things like fuel burn figures from aviation, and we hope the industry will open up and have constructive conversations.”


While Hanrahan said this should be possible by the end of the year, he added that competition laws would prevent the standardising of pricing on emissions. Instead ICROA wants to educate the public on what to look for in a good carbon offsetting company and how to spend their money accordingly.


He added a code of best practice has been set up for ICROA members to ensure other members practice everything from transparency in their business to ensuring credible offsetting projects are used.


However, Federation of Tour Operators head of responsible tourism Chris Thompson questioned the likelihood of any calculation released by ICROA being accepted by the travel industry.


He said: “Our members and the airlines already have or subscribe to their own schemes or systems. I can’t see that this is going to be any better for them – who’s to say that it is the one and only definitive way of calculating carbon?”