European airplane manufacturer Airbus and several major airlines, including Air France-KLM, International Airlines Group, Lufthansa Group, and Virgin Atlantic, signed letters of intent to explore opportunities for the future supply of carbon removal credits from direct air carbon capture technology.
Airbus and other participating airlines have promised to engage in negotiations on the possible pre-purchase of verified and durable carbon removal credits starting from 2025-28.
Airbus has teamed up with 1PointFive, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum's Low Carbon Ventures business for its direct air capture and storage technology. 1PointFive plans to build a direct air carbon capture and storage plant in Texas and it is scheduled to go into operation by 2024. The agreement with 1PointFive includes the pre-purchase of 400,000 tonnes of carbon credits over a four-year period as part of an initial offtake.
By using powerful fans, 1PointFive’s plant filters and extracts carbon dioxide from the surrounding air, and once extracted, the gas can be permanently stored in saline aquifers in a one megaton facility in the Permian Basin in Texas. It’s an underground space with the size of around 86,000 square miles.
Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a challenging goal for aviation sector since it contributes about 3% of global carbon emissions. Airbus said “As the aviation industry cannot capture CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere at source, a direct air carbon capture and storage solution would allow the sector to extract the equivalent amounts of emissions from its operations directly from atmospheric air.”