Delta Air Lines

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Atlanta, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Delta Air Lines appears to have limited, negative engagement with US climate policy. Delta Air Lines has opposed attempts to repeal a tax on jet fuel in the US state of Georgia and appears to support a long-term role for fossil fuels in global aviation. Delta also remains a member of multiple industry associations that actively and negatively lobby against ambitious climate policy including Airlines for America, which has lobbied against national climate regulation for aviation in the US.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Delta Air Lines has disclosed limited communications regarding its top-line position on climate policy in 2020. In its 2019 10-K Report, Delta Air Lines emphasized cost concerns around the potential impact of climate regulation. In its 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report, Delta Air Lines acknowledged some of the science of climate change without disclosing its position on the need to reduce GHG emissions, the need for government regulation, or the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In 2018-20, Delta Air Lines appears to have had limited, direct engagement with climate policy. Although Delta Air Lines has disclosed the climate regulations it is following in its 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report, it does not appear to disclose any further details on its desired policy outcomes or engagement activities.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Delta appears to have limited transparency and broadly negative engagement regarding the energy transition for global aviation. In 2018-19, Delta Air Lines opposed attempts in Georgia to repeal a tax cut on jet fuel sales. A 2019 statement by Delta Air Lines CEO, Ed Bastian, argued that by “making Georgia the highest jet fuel tax state in the country among States with hub airports, it would make the state less competitive and give commercial aviation reason to grow somewhere other than the state of Georgia”. In a February 2020 interview, Delta Airlines CEO, Ed Bastian, stated that “We will continue to use jet fuel for as far as the eye can see”. Bastian later clarified in the same interview that “we’ll be investing in technologies to reduce the impact of jet fuel, but I don’t ever see a future where we’ll eliminate jet fuel from our footprint”.

Industry Association Governance: Delta Air Lines publicly discloses a list of its memberships to industry associations on its website without disclosing its direct engagement with them on climate change, their climate policy positions, or the company’s role within each association. Delta Air Lines has not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. In its 2020 CDP response, Delta Air Lines only listed its membership to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is actively and negatively lobbying global climate policy for aviation, failing to disclose its membership to other climate-relevant trade associations. The CEO of Delta Airlines is on the Board of Directors for Airlines for America, which have negatively and actively lobbied against US climate policy for aviation. A senior executive for Delta Air Lines is a board member of the US Chamber of Commerce, which is actively and negatively lobbying on US climate policy.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.