American Airlines (AAL) has teamed up with Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Catalyst by contributing $100m to a collaborative effort to support clean technologies such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The carrier has become one of the first anchor partners to Breakthrough Energy Catalyst and jointly aim to work towards attaining a net-zero economy by 2050.
This partnership between AAL and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst supports the carrier’s climate commitments to develop emissions-reduction solutions.
AAL chairman and CEO Doug Parker said: “We have an ambitious vision of a low-carbon future for our airline and a plan to match, but we know our own efforts can only get us so far.
“By working in partnership with Catalyst, we’re helping accelerate and scale our industry’s nascent solutions, like sustainable aviation fuel, along with other technologies that will be necessary to reduce emissions from aviation and across the economy.”
Breakthrough Energy Catalyst will initially fund projects across four technologies, notably SAF, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage, and direct air capture.
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Along with its partners, Catalyst will finance, produce, and acquire new solutions for achieving a zero-carbon economy that is presently more expensive than their current fossil-fuel emitting counterparts.
The difference between these expenses is called the ‘Green Premium.’
Breakthrough Energy founder Bill Gates said: “Catalyst will focus on supporting technologies that are vital to the world reaching net-zero emissions but are currently too expensive to be adopted at scale.
“By coordinating investments and directing them toward these critical technologies, we can reduce their Green Premiums and help them get to market faster, so we can all reach our climate goals.”
Under its continuing efforts to promote SAF, American Airlines has been receiving SAF from Neste for over a year, with the commitment to deploy nine million gallons in total through 2023.
Furthermore, the company signed an agreement to purchase up to ten million gallons of carbon-neutral SAF from Prometheus Fuels.
AAL also invested $24bn to upgrade its fleet with 600 new and more fuel-efficient aircraft while discontinuing a similar number of less-efficient aeroplanes.