Up, Up and Away with Greenwashing

Virgin Atlantic has flown a jumbo jet from London to Amsterdam fueled by bio fuel derived from a mixture of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts. But is this really green progress, or just greenwashing? Virgin Atlantic's head, Richard Branson, called the flight a "vital breakthrough" for the airline industry. "This pioneering flight will enable those of us who are serious about reducing our carbon emissions to go on developing the fuels of the future." But environmentalists had a different take, calling it a "gimmick," and a publicity stunt. Dr Doug Parr of Greenpeace called it a "high-altitude greenwash," saying, "Instead of looking for a magic green bullet, Virgin should focus on the real solution to this problem and call for a halt to relentless airport expansion."