US carrier Delta Air Lines has pledged to invest $1bn over the next ten years to become carbon neutral.

The commitment is the airline’s efforts to fight emissions across its operations and advance sustainability from March 2020.

Delta will fund research and projects involving clean air technologies, as well as carbon emissions and waste reduction.

The airline will also establish a partnership with employees, suppliers, global partners, customers, industry colleagues, investors and other stakeholders to move ahead with its ambition.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: “There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. 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.

“The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

Delta noted that 98% of emissions come from its aircraft, which is its largest environmental impact. The company’s strategy will apply to air and ground-based emissions.

The airline will focus on efforts such as reduced usage of jet fuel and increased sustainable aviation fuels development and use.

The carrier will explore forestry, wetland restoration, grassland conservation, marine and soil capture, and other opportunities that support carbon removal.

Last month, Delta entered an airline offtake agreement to acquire sustainable aviation fuel, if produced, from Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF).

Delta is the first and only US airline to restrict greenhouse gas emissions at 2012 levels. Last year, the carrier added more than 80 new aircraft that are 25% more fuel-efficient than the replaced aircraft.

In September 2019, Delta invested $1.9bn on Chilean company LATAM Airlines Group to acquire a 20% stake in the carrier.