UNITED STATES – United States carrier, Delta Airlines, has said that it will be committing US$1 billion over the next 10 years on its journey to mitigate all emissions from its global business.

The airline said it would invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.

 “As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment,” Delta’s Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bastian said.

Delta notes that its approach to tackling carbon reduction and sustainability reflects the focus and rigour it that it used to build a financially secure airline and has become known for.

Bastian said, “There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution.”

“We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation.”

The airline noted that aviation industry contributed roughly two per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

It further noted that carbon footprint was its largest environmental impact, with 98 per cent of emissions coming from its aircraft.

Delta said it would be focusing its efforts to become carbon neutral through reduction, carbon removal and stakeholder engagement.

The airline said 2020 would see a number of milestones to demonstrate its progress and commitment to environmental sustainability.

Air travel which was once a rapidly expanding and lucrative sector has been subjected to widespread criticism due to its significant Carbon print.

The Washington post notes that the realization by European tourists that one passenger’s share of the exhaust from a single flight can cancel out a year’s worth of Earth-friendly efforts has made many to start rethinking their travel options.

Mark Smith, founder of Seat 61, a popular website dedicated to train-based travel around Europe and beyond, said he has noticed a change in the people coming to his site. When he set it up in 2001, users told him they loved trains, or were scared of flying, or couldn’t fly.

“Now, when people tell me why they are taking the train, they say two things in the same breath: They say they are fed up with the stress of flying, and they want to cut their carbon footprint,” Smith said.

So far, the biggest shift has been in green-conscious Sweden, where airline executives blame increased train travel — up one-third this summer compared with a year ago — for a drop in air passenger traffic.

This changing travel trends have already caught the attention of Airlines with some of them including Delta airlines pledging to intensify their climate mitigation efforts.