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Delta CEO Pledges 'Fully Carbon Neutral' Operation Within Weeks

Jayson Derrick

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) CEO Ed Bastian said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" the company will become "fully carbon neutral" as of March 1.

What Happened

Delta understands its business needs to do more than just take care of its customers, workers and shareholders. As of next month, Delta will become the first airliner to achieve a carbon-neutral status and will do so through investing in not only carbon reduction methods but carbon removal technologies.

"There's no greater challenge that I know of that we need to be investing in and innovating in as environmental sustainability," Bastian said.

Why It's Important

Airliners can't operate without fossil fuels and Bastian acknowledged Delta needs to use jet fuel for "as far as the eye can see." A future without the use of jet fuels is not realistic but that doesn't mean nothing can be done to become more environmentally friendly.

Carbon offsets won't go far enough to make a reasonable impact, the CEO said. Rather, investing in projects that "make a difference."

Delta plans on investing $1 billion in areas like clean technology for engines over the next decade. Environmental sustainability over the long-term requires action taken across the industry today.

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