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United Commits to Reducing its Greenhouse Emissions by 100% by 2050 in World First

United Commits to Reducing its Greenhouse Emissions by 100% by 2050 in World First

United Airlines is aiming to become the first airline in the world to physically reduce its greenhouse emissions by 100 per cent in less than 30 years time. While a slew of other major airlines have committed to becoming ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050, United says it will become completely green by investing in what it describes as a “revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology” known as Direct Air Capture.

United will invest millions of dollars in a startup that is developing the Direct Air Capture technology in order to achieve its commitment. 1PointFive, the company behind the tech, claims direct air capture is proven to physically correct for aircraft emissions and can be scaled to capture millions of metric tons of COper year. There’s even the potential to scale it to capture billions of metric tons of CO2 in the future.

1PointFive aims to build its first industrial-sized Direct Air Capture plant in the United States with some of the money United is giving the project. Each facility will be capable of capturing the same amount of COeach year that it would take 40 million trees for.

In addition, the Chicago-based airline said it would continue to work on sustainable aviation fuel (or SAF) projects that emit 80 per less lifecycle carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel.

Since 2016, more than 26 million of United’s passengers have already flown on SAF fueled flights, although that number could increase massively over the next few years as the technology is developed and it becomes cheaper to implement.

While aviation is said to only account for around 3 per cent of global CO2 emissions, the sector was one of the fastest-growing in the world (before the pandemic) and reducing the emissions is seen as particularly tricky.

American Airlines and Alaska have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, while Delta says it will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to mitigate greenhouse emissions and also become carbon neutral in the same timeframe.

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