Nov. 19 (UPI) -- British budget airline EasyJet announced Tuesday it plans to become the world's first major carrier to be fully carbon neutral.
EasyJet said it's a carbon offsetting move that will lower its planes' release of carbon dioxide by, for example, planting more trees. EasyJet's decision to operate net-zero carbon flights follows a similar move by German carrier Lufthansa.
The airline said the change would take effect immediately.
"Climate change is an issue for all of us," EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement. "We are tackling this challenge head-on by choosing to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of our flights starting today.
"In doing so we are committing to operating net-zero carbon flights across our network -- a world first by any major airline."
EasyJet also said it's signed a research agreement with Airbus that will look at operating hybrid and electric aircraft. It said it would also support long-term efforts to develop green technology for the aviation industry -- and forestry, renewable and community-based projects.
"Offsetting is only an interim measure until other technologies become available ... but we want to take action on carbon now," Lundgren added.
"Many people still want to fly and if people choose to fly we want to be one of the best choices they can make."