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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Corporate carbon pledges arrive so fast it's hard to keep up, so here's one way to bushwhack through them: Ignore the splashy top-line and look at what they're doing soon.

Driving the news: United Airlines yesterday vowed to cut its emissions by 100% by 2050 — but also described the more immediate step of pouring millions into efforts to commercialize nascent direct air capture technology.

  • They are investing in 1PointFive, which is a venture between Occidental Petroleum and Rusheen Capital Management to deploy Carbon Engineering's tech.
  • These companies are planning to construct a large direct air capture plant in the Permian Basin region of Texas.

Why it matters: It's part of a growing corporate push to finance various negative emissions tech and methods — something that companies including Microsoft, Amazon and the payment tech company Stripe are doing too.

  • And United said it's the first airline to invest in direct air capture.

Yes, but: Right now, direct air capture is in its infancy. It would need to scale up by orders of magnitude to become just one of many tools needed against global warming.

The intrigue: While United is also touting investments in lower-carbon fuels, Fast Company notes carbon-removal finance is a recognition that the industry is very far away from big aircraft that don't pump out lots of CO2.

  • Batteries are becoming a thing with tiny planes, but large jets are another thing entirely, they point out.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

States and companies are now hotbeds of climate action

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the four years since the U.S. federal government last paid serious attention to climate change, the problem has become a top priority across states and corporations.

Why it matters: Washington, D.C. isn't the only place, or even the most important place, where meaningful climate change action is likely to happen in the coming years.

Jul 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

Airline recovery falters before it even gets off the ground

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Any hope for a rebound in air travel this year has vanished, with coronavirus cases surging in much of the U.S. and some states imposing quarantines to keep visitors away.

Why it matters: The airline industry is already suffering the worst crisis in its history. The soaring infection rates mean planes will be grounded even longer, putting tens of thousands of people out of work in the coming months.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.