In an effort to help combat climate change, a number of corporations have turned to using carbon offsets to help rectify any damage done by their business to the environment. Companies such as United Airlines have even begun offering their customers the chance to purchase carbon offsets to counteract their flight. But how likely is it that customers will choose to purchase these carbon offsets? Authors Andy S. Choi, Brent W. Ritchie, and Kelly S. Fielding explored this topic in their article published in Journal of Travel Research entitled “A Mediation Model of Air Travelers’ Voluntary Climate Action.”
This study developed a behavioral model of intentions to purchase aviation carbon offsets, and tested the model through structural equation models. The model draws on the established hierarchical models of human behavior to hypothesize relationships between general and specific attitudes as predictors of offsetting intentions. The New Ecological Paradigm scale, the theory of planned behavior and variables from past literature were employed to measure general environmental attitudes, intermediate beliefs, and behavior-specific attitudes and norms. The current research represents a first attempt to build a theoretical model that helps to understand the relationships between factors that determine whether people will purchase aviation carbon offsets. The results show that a more positive orientation toward the environment could be an important predictor of environmental intentions operating both directly on intentions as well as guiding beliefs that relate to intentions. Policy implications of the findings are discussed, encouraging greater voluntary climate action.
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