US airline giant, United has pledged to become 100 per cent green by 2050.
It has announced a multi-million dollar investment in a technology known as Direct Air Capture. It will be the first airline to commit to this approach.
Most airlines use carbon offsetting to reduce their environmental impact. In contrast, Direct Air Capture physically removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Scott Kirby, United’s CEO, said: “I recognise our responsibility in contributing to fight climate change, as well as our responsibility to solve it.”
He added that “buying carbon offsets alone is just not enough”.
A single Direct Air Capture plant will sequester one million tons of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent to the work of 40 million trees, but covering a land area about 3,000 times smaller.
The project will be developed by 1PointFive, a partnership between Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen Capital Management.
The airline has additionally invested in sustainable aviation fuel which has 80 per cent less lifecycle carbon emissions than conventional jet fuel.
It invested more than $30m in sustainable fuel producer Fulcrum BioEnergy.