United Airlines to invest in direct air capture technology

UNITED Airlines is taking its most ambitious step yet in leading the fight against climate change: pledging to become 100 per cent green by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100 per cent by 2050.

United, which in 2018 became the first US airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, will advance towards carbon neutrality by committing to a multimillion-dollar investment in revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology known as Direct Air Capture rather than indirect measures like carbon-offsetting in addition to continuing to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

With this unprecedented announcement, United becomes the first airline in the world to announce a commitment to invest in Direct Air Capture technology.

Commenting on the development, United’s chief executive officer, Scott Kirby declared: “As the leader of one of the world’s largest airlines, I recognise our responsibility in contributing to fight climate change, as well as our responsibility to solve it. These game-changing technologies will significantly reduce our emissions, and measurably reduce the speed of climate change because buying carbon offsets alone is just not enough.”

With up to 80 per cent less lifecycle carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel, sustainable aviation fuel is the fastest and most effective way United is reducing its emissions. Among all airlines globally, United holds more than 50 per cent of all publicly announced future purchase commitments to using SAF and has the longest history of using SAF of any US airline.

Direct Air Capture technology is one of the few proven ways to physically correct aircraft emissions, and can scale to capture millions and potentially billions of metric tons of CO2 per year. The captured CO2 will then be permanently, safely and securely stored deep underground by occidental, a process certified by independent third parties.

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