The company promises to be both transparent about its progress and "agile" in adapting to the latest technology. It showed a "number of milestones" in 2020.
It is an ambitious plan (BP does not expect neutrality until 2050), and it is noteworthy that Delta does not attempt to "cheat" through the use of carbon offset payments. However, this is still a big task. Around 98 percent of Delta's emissions, around 39.4 million imperial tons per year, come from aircraft. Even if fuel efficiency improves dramatically, the airline has to invest a lot to offset its contribution to climate change.
There are also no concrete plans for switching to electric planes or other emission-free sources. CEO Ed Bastian said in an interview to CNBC that he "never saw a future" in which Delta would eliminate the use of jet fuel. The air carrier can cause significant CO2 emissions for a long time. However, this could cause Delta's rivals to follow suit and reduce the overall footprint of the aerospace industry. If air travel accounts for 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, it could play an important role in reducing human impact on the planet.