General Industry

Delta Air Lines To Spend More Than $30m To Offset 13m Metric Tons Of 2020 Carbon Emissions

By Dave Simpson
Delta Air Lines To Spend More Than $30m To Offset 13m Metric Tons Of 2020 Carbon Emissions

Delta Air Lines has said that it will spend more than $30 million to offset 13 million metric tons of carbon emissions over 10 months last year as part of its pledge to help combat climate change.

The Atlanta-based company said that its medium-term goal is to replace 10% of its jet fuel, which is currently refined from fossil fuel, with sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2030.

Delta also said that it cut emissions by retiring more than 200 older aircraft early in 2020 as it dealt with a plunge in demand from the coronavirus pandemic. Replacement planes will be 25% more fuel-efficient, the US airline said.

In February of 2020, Delta announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next decade in initiatives like offsets, sustainable aviation fuel and carbon sequestration that would limit the impact of global air travel on the environment, the first airline to make a commitment of that scale.

That followed moves in Europe by easyJet to offset emissions on all its flights and by British Airways and Air France to do the same on their domestic flights.


Delta has agreed to purchase a future supply of 70 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel per year.

The amount that the US carrier plans to pay for offsets from March 1 to December 31 will equate to less than 0.35% of its revenue during the period, based on Reuters calculations using Delta's financial results from April 1 to December 31.

Delta said that the carbon tonnage offset was equal to the carbon sequestered by 17 million acres of US forests in one year, enough to cover the state of West Virginia.

The Biden administration is pressuring US airlines to do more to reduce emissions.

The chief executives of major US carriers met with White House officials last week to discuss tackling aviation pollution and urge US support for greener aviation fuel.


United Airlines has committed to a multimillion-dollar investment in carbon capture, a technology designed to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as part of a plan to be 100% green by 2050.

Delta said that it also believes that carbon capture has significant potential.

Delta owns its own oil refinery, making it unique among its peers. The company posted a $102 million refining segment loss in the fourth quarter and a $441 million loss on third party fuel sales.

The refinery, which is located in Trainer, Pennsylvania, emitted approximately 1.45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or equivalent gas in 2019, according to the latest data available from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Net Quantity Of Greenhouse Gases Of Petroleum Products Produced

That year, the net quantity of greenhouse gasses of the petroleum products the refinery produced totalled approximately 26 million metric tons, according to the EPA.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.