Southwest Airlines

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Dallas, United States
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: In 2021-22, Southwest has limited, mixed engagement with climate change policy. It expresses positive top-line messaging on climate policy and appears supportive of a US sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)-blenders tax credit. Southwest retains membership to Airlines for America, which engages negatively on climate policy for aviation in the US.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In it’s 2020 ‘One Report’, published in 2021, Southwest appeared supportive of net-zero carbon emissions from the US aviation industry by 2050, a position which appeared to be reiterated in an October 2022 Twitter post. Similarly, Southwest expressed support for the US 2050 goal of net-zero carbon emissions from aviation in a November 2021 blog post. In a February 2022 blog post, Southwest stated it wants to work with federal and state governments to “promote a better, healthier Planet”, however it’s position on government regulations in response to climate change remained unclear. InfluenceMap found no evidence that Southwest Airlines has stated public support for the Paris Agreement in 2021-22.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In 2021-22, Southwest appeared to have limited engagement with specific US climate policies for aviation. A May 2021 joint letter, signed by Southwest, applauded the introduction of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blenders tax credit under the Sustainable Skies Act, stating “we wholeheartedly support your bill”. Similarly, an April 2022 joint letter, signed by Southwest, described a SAF-blenders tax credit as “the most important action Congress can take to support the decarbonization of the aviation sector”. During Southwest’s 2021 Q1 Earnings Call in April 2021, a Senior Executive also appeared to express support for US incentives and tax credits for SAFs. Furthermore, according to it’s 2021 ‘One Report’, published in April 2022, and an April 2021 press release, Southwest advocated for policies incentivizing SAFs.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2021-22, Southwest appeared supportive of a transition from traditional kerosene fuel to SAFs for the airline sector. In an August 2022 blog post, Southwest described SAF as “crucial” for aviation decarbonization. A November 2021 press release, further appeared to suggest that SAFs are “critical” to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. During its 2021 Q1 Earnings Call in April 2021, a Southwest Senior Executive stated that hydrogen and power-to-liquid fuels have “tremendous promise” from 2035, alongside expressing support for SAFs in the meantime.

Industry Association Governance: Southwest has not published an industry association review, but has disclosed its membership to industry associations on its corporate website, accessed in December 2022. Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly, is on the Board of Directors at Airlines for America (A4A), which has negative engagement on US and EU climate policy for aviation.

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.