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Reuters- United Airlines

United Airlines unveils plan to fund more sustainable jet fuel made from trash
By Tracy Rucinski and Ankit Ajmera 04/13/2021 11:09 AM
Reuters) -United Airlines said on Tuesday it has partnered with global firms including Nike Inc and Siemens
AG in an “Eco-Skies Alliance” to finance use this year of about 3.4 million gallons of low-carbon, sustainable
aviation fuel derived from trash.
Though tiny compared with the 4.3 billion gallons of jet fuel that United consumed in 2019 prior to the start of
the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount triples the roughly 1 million gallons of sustainable fuel it has used each
year since 2016.
Airlines have used sustainable fuel since 2008 as part of efforts to reduce outright emissions, but so far this
represents barely 1% of the fuel used worldwide, industry groups say.
Chicago-based United named 11 of more than a dozen global partners for the plan but did not disclose the cost,
or how much each would contribute.
Air transport accounts for 2%-3% of greenhouse gas emissions, the French aerospace association said on
Tuesday. Environmental groups argue the sector’s overall contribution is higher.
Partners include companies with corporate or cargo deals with United, like Nike, Siemens, Palantir and Japan’s
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.
United said the project gives customers a way to help reduce the environmental impact of flying beyond
buying carbon offsets and could help create more of a market for sustainable aviation fuels.
“We’ll see how it develops,” Chief Executive Scott Kirby told reporters. “I think there’s a huge appetite for it.”
The airline industry has focused more broadly on the purchase of carbon offsets to reduce the environmental
impact of flying, pending the arrival of new technology to meet the sector’s goal of halving net emissions by
2050 versus 2005.
Environmental critics say offsets do not directly address climate goals and mask the problem of ongoing jet
United, which along with some other carriers has said it wants to cut net emissions more aggressively by 100%
by 2050, has criticized offsets and announced a recent investment in “carbon-capture” technology. It has
invested in a sustainable aviation fuel producer called Fulcrum BioEnergy.
“While we know that aircraft are never going to be completely decarbonized, we are not going to use offsets as
the way to get to 100% green,” Kirby said.
Airline association IATA says life cycle greenhouse emissions from sustainable fuel can be at least 80% lower
than normal fuel and are the only medium-term option for curbing emissions growth, since airlines cannot yet
switch to electric planes.
Delta Air Lines has said it plans to replace 10% of its jet fuel, currently refined from fossil fuel, with
sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2030.
While using waste avoids taking land from food production, environmental groups like Transport &
Environment say such supplies are limited and face competition from other sectors.
Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru
Editing by Tim Hepher and Matthew Lewis
Connor Davidson
Mrs. Wallach (Period 2)
AP Language and Composition
13 April 2021
Rucinski, Tracy and Amjera, Ankit. “United Airlines unveils plan to fund more sustainable jet fuel made from
trash” Reuters, 13 Apr. 2021.
In the article, “United Airlines unveils plan to fund more sustainable jet fuel made from trash” (Apr. 13,
2021), journalists Tracy Rucinski and Ankit Amjera from Reuters state that “United Airlines... has partnered
with global firms... to finance this year of about 3.4 million gallons of... sustainable aviation fuel” (1) and
divulge the history and statistics of airlines’ fight against emissions. Rucinski and Amjera further their findings
by stating “Airlines have used sustainable fuel since 2008” (3); they continue to develop their stances by
quoting Delta’s (a competitor of United Airlines) contributions to fighting global warming and their plan to
“replace 10% of [their] jet fuel,,, with sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2030” (12), proving that
sustainability is the future of flight. By exploring and employing these facts, Rucinski and Amjera are
permitted to reasonably detail the goals and initiatives airlines are taking to actively combat greenhouse gases
and global warming. Rucinski and Amjera call to action their impressionable audience of everyday citizens
invested in the future of the planet and teach the less informed the severity of carbon emissions and necessity
for change in the aviation field.