February 15, 2020

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Delta Air Lines confirms that by the end of the decade they will be carbon neutral

Delta Air Lines announced an ambitious plan to invest at least $ 1 billion in the next decade to become carbon neutral, evolving as the air industry is under pressure t – travel from the community and investors become more environmentally friendly.

Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a newsletter that the initiative will start on 1 March, and will focus on, among other things, the use of clean flight technologies and carbon emissions reduction. These efforts include upgrading the Delta aircraft fleet to newer, more fuel efficient models and biofuel use.

Delta will also continue to invest in carbon offset programs – forestry reconstruction and other natural habitats that could damage jet engine emissions – but on a more limited basis, according to release.

“There is no challenge that requires more innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no one solution,” says Bastian in the statement. “We are actively addressing the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging with experts, building alliances, building partnerships and driving innovation.” T

The aviation industry accounts for about 2% of the word 's carbon dioxide emissions, according to an International Council on Clean Transportation study. Global airline travel grows about 5% per year steadily, according to the International Air Transport, a trading group. However, this growth rate fell to 4% in 2019, the organization said.

Public pressure and investors are putting pressure on airlines to think more critically about their environmental footprint.

Sweden's climate activist Greta Thunberg is in charge of a charge to use other means of transport, and the term “flygskam, ”Or flight shame. The movement was credited with a recent 4% drop in the number of commercial passengers flying in Sweden.

Investors are pushing large banks and investment funds heavily. Last year, some of the largest funds focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance issues (ESG funds) were better than the total stock market. Goldman-Sachs in December was the first SB bank to say that it would stop support for coal investments and restrict oil and gas investments. BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with nearly $ 7 trillion of assets under management last month, has announced that it will avoid investments with companies that pose a high risk of sustainability, such as coal producers.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with the Atmospheric Research Group, said industry leaders said that they heard from concerned customers – and their own children – about the environmental footprint of aircraft.

It's up to Delta to deliver, Harteveldt said. “It's a great press statement, but it's not what the world will be looking at and what the world will measure the press statement, but the actual commitment,” he said. “But it is good to see an airline, especially a large global airline, which makes a statement like this and begins to act.”

Harteveldt said that he has no reason to believe that Delta would not achieve his objective, but the setting of the target is of value. “I also say that, in business, you have to put out big, tough goals to try to reach and make your commitments,” he said.

Progress in reducing carbon emissions for air travel was difficult. Small companies have tried battery powered and hybrid-electric aircraft. Airbus flew a two-seater across the Chanel English in 2015, with Irvine JetSuite, a jet jet operator, hoping to add 12-seat hybrid planes to its fleet by 2022. But large plane batteries are still not a feasible option. The energy needed to power a large aircraft would require aircraft-friendly batteries.

Last October, Delta employed $ 2 million to partner with Northwest Advanced Biofuels to study a biofuel production facility. Biofuel can reduce petroleum-based fuel-generated greenhouse gas emissions by around 70%, according to Bryan Sherbacow, chief commercial officer at World Energy, a largest biofuel company with a facility in a Key Point. The “small premium” costs over fossil fuel costs, he said, are denying him a specific number. World Energy mainly makes its fuel from non-edible agricultural materials, fats, oils, grease and waste.

Sherbacow said that World Energy are working with companies such as United Airlines and Boeing and have put in place inquiries. He suggested Delta's aggressive approach, although he thinks the airline could make more demanding products as it was.

“It's like they are trying to make investments in technologies that could remove carbon from the atmosphere. As such, they are not addressing the issue of low carbon transport fuels. They want to find technologies that mitigate or offset, ”said Sherbacow.