Delta joins the carbon neutral rush, but major challenges await

Delta joins the carbon neutral rush, but major challenges await

Delta Air Lines, the world's second-largest carrier, announced plans Friday to mount an ambitious 10-year strategy during which it will spend at least $1 billion and become the world's first carbon-neutral airline.

"There's no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution". "It is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment".

Delta says it will invest in technologies to reduce airline CO2 emissions and waste, though it does not specify if technologies like carbon capture and removal are among the innovations it will targeting.

It is estimated that global aviation accounts for roughly 2 percent of total carbon emissions, but that figure may well rise as air travel is expected to increase in the coming years. "We are on a journey, and though we don't have all the answers today, we know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet and ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come".

Delta said its plans also include cutting its use of jet fuel, investing in forestry, restoring wetlands, recapturing soil, building green coalitions with employees and suppliers.

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Delta understands its business needs to do more than just take care of its customers, workers and shareholders. Rather, investing in projects that "make a difference".

The environmental impact of air travel has been thrown in the spotlight in recently, as teen climate activist Greta Thunberg famously sailed from Europe to the USA and back because of the environmental impacts of flying. "That's where Delta's efforts are best served".

In a 10-year commitment heralded by Delta CEO Ed Bastian, the airline will put an all-in effort towards mitigating emissions - both in the air and on the ground - anywhere it has a presence.

2020 will see a number of milestones that demonstrate Delta's progress and commitment, and that Delta will share broadly as each of them launch.

Atlanta-based Delta is the world's largest airline by revenue. Delta has partnered with Global Citizen, a nonprofit organization, to help it reach United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The love will be spread out among 90,000 Delta employees, who will each receive an extra two months of pay.

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