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Delta commits US$1bn to substantial decarbonisation plan

One of the USA’s largest airliners, Delta, has announced an ambitious decarbonisation plan to be enacted over the coming decade at a cost of US$1bn. Wh...

Marcus Lawrence
|Feb 17|magazine6 min read

One of the USA’s largest airliners, Delta, has announced an ambitious decarbonisation plan to be enacted over the coming decade at a cost of US$1bn.

While the company stopped short of using the term ‘net zero’, it said in its press release that it will seek to “mitigate all emissions from March 2020 forward”.

Through its cumulative $1bn in proposed investments, Delta will drive clean air travel tech, reductions in carbon emissions and waste, and innovation programmes based to “mitigate the balance of emissions”.

Acknowledging that the airline industry accounts for 2% of total global CO2 emissions, Delta said it has calculated that 98% of its own emissions come from its planes and that its decarbonisation efforts will be focused primarily on its fleets and their management.

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As such, its current carbon reduction plans seek to reduce the use of jet fuel, improve engine and flight efficiency, cut weight on flights, and increase development of more sustainable fuel alternatives, along with renewing its fleets with the latest tech.

Along with initiatives to increase stakeholder interest in environmental and sustainability-focused programmes, Delta will explore carbon removal strategies to augment its internal shifts, such as: wetland and forestry renewal, marine and soil-based carbon capture, and studies into negative emissions tech.

“There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment,” said Ed Bastian, CEO at Delta’, in the company’s press release. 

“The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”