Delta is Expected to be the First Carbon Neutral Airline

With the company pledging $1 billion over ten years to help “reduce” all its CO2 emissions, Delta has announced its target to become the world’s first carbon neutral airline. This will include more powerful aircraft and less total use of jet fuel (including renewable fuel). It will also include efforts to remove emissions from forests and wetlands, recycling, and carbon capture technology. The initative starts on 1 March.

Delta Air Lines, Inc., typically referred to as Delta, is one of the major airlines of the United States and a legacy carrier. It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline, along with its subsidiaries and regional affiliates, including Delta Connection, operates over 5,400 flights daily and serves 325 destinations in 52 countries on six continents.

The company is promising to be both transparent about its progress and “nimble” in adapting to the latest technology. It teased a “number of milestones” coming in 2020.

About 98 percent of Delta’s emissions, roughly 39.4 million imperial tons per year, come from its aircraft. Even if there’s a dramatic improvement in fuel efficiency, the airline will have to invest heavily if it’s going to compensate for its contribution to climate change.

There are also no tangible plans to move to electric aircraft or other zero-emissions sources. CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC in an interview that he didn’t “ever see a future” where Delta would eliminate jet fuel use.

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