Delta Air Lines is joining the First Movers Coalition, a public-private partnership and platform designed to accelerate and scale the development of breakthrough technologies and fuels, helping hard-to-abate sectors, like aviation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Announced at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the coalition is spearheaded by the U.S. State Department and the World Economic Forum and reflects Delta’s leadership as the world’s first carbon neutral airline globally.
As a founding member of the coalition, Delta is committed to creating long-term impact by investing in key decarbonization solutions, including sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Those investments will help accelerate new markets for cost-competitive, low-carbon technology, which is essential to enable a net zero future by 2050 and consistent with the critical climate target of 1.5C.
Specifically, Delta is establishing a goal to replace at least five percent of conventional jet fuel demand with SAF that achieves at least an 85 percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional jet fuel by 2030, pending availability and feasibility. This complements the company’s existing 10 percent SAF procurement goal by the end of 2030, ensuring that half of our SAF comes from feedstocks that achieve the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Delta joins corporate leaders from the aviation, trucking, steel and shipping industries to announce the collective effort.
“This coalition will help spur the markets and policy environment essential to developing the sustainable fuels and technologies needed to combat climate change,” said Amelia DeLuca, Managing Director of Sustainability at Delta Air Lines. “We applaud the leadership of the U.S. government in advancing this important demand-side effort and urge legislators to advance complementary policies and incentives also critical to jump-starting the market, like a long-term, performance-based, technology- and feedstock-neutral SAF-specific blenders tax credit.”
Notably, the SAF market remains underdeveloped and is currently about three to five times more expensive than fossil jet fuels. By simultaneously promoting demand for emerging fuels and technologies and advancing their commercialization, the First Movers Coalition aims to scale up the solutions needed to fight climate change while driving down — and ultimately eliminating— the green premium on clean solutions.
This new partnership is the latest in a series of commitments Delta has made to achieve its sustainability goals. In March 2020, Delta became the first carbon neutral airline globally and since then has continued to make progress on its objectives, including agreeing to set science-based targets in line with the Paris Agreement and joining the United Nation’s global Race to Zero campaign.
Delta is also a member of the Mission Possible Partnership, LEAF Coalition, Clean Skies for Tomorrow, Aviation Climate Taskforce and other like-minded groups committed to mitigating global climate change.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta has a longstanding commitment to sustainable air travel and through its inaugural ESG report highlights its intention to be a catalyst for global change and its role in growing empathy, respect and care for the planet and the people within it. In 2020, it committed to be the first carbon-neutral airline globally. Delta was the No. 1 airline named among America’s Most Sustainable Companies by Barron’s in 2020. It was the only U.S. airline included in the 2021 S&P Global Sustainability Yearbook. It has received the Vision for America Award by Keep America Beautiful and Captain Planet Foundation's Superhero Corporate Award. Delta has also earned a spot on the FTSE4Good Index for six consecutive years and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for ten straight years. For more information, visit Delta.com/sustainability.
About The World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.