United and EDF Launch Partnership to Measure, Manage and Reduce Aviation Emissions

Economic measures CORSIA

United Airlines and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announce a new partnership to measure and accelerate greenhouse gas reductions across United’s operations and help the company meet its goal of cutting emissions 50% by 2050. Globally, emissions from the aviation sector currently account for roughly 2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and are expected to rise significantly in the years to come as demand for air travel is projected to increase substantially, even as the industry’s fuel efficiency improves.

“Being an industry leader in environmental sustainability means more than just committing to reducing our carbon footprint; it means working together with respected organizations like EDF to help us implement practical solutions to overcome the most urgent environmental challenges we face as a company, industry and community,” said Scott Kirby, president of United Airlines.
United has already taken early steps to begin addressing its carbon footprint. Moving forward, EDF will work with United to develop a roadmap to reach its 2050 target with credibility and accountability.

As part of their joint work, United and EDF will evaluate how to meet, with high integrity, the ambitious targets laid out in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), the new market-based measure under the United Nation’s aviation agency to limit the net carbon emissions of international flights. United has already begun monitoring its emissions as specified in CORSIA.

Together, EDF and United will analyze options for identifying high-quality carbon offsets that represent real, permanent, verified emission reductions; that deliver local environmental benefits; and are properly accounted for. United and EDF will collaborate with Conservation International, which currently offers United’s customers the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets via the airline’s Eco-Skies Carbon Choice program.

“Accelerating carbon reductions from the aviation sector is critical to solving the climate crisis,” said Fred Krupp, president of EDF. “Powerful partnerships like the one EDF is forming with United align the strong science, market forces and information sharing needed to scale change, providing a blueprint for other airlines to follow. We’re grateful for United’s leadership and look forward to a productive partnership.”