The two busiest airports in Morocco, Marrakesh-Menara and Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, have enrolled in the global Airport Carbon Accreditation program.
The announcement came at a ceremony held during UNFCCC’s 22nd Conference of the Parties (COPP22) climate talks, which had been hosted by the country. Officials also provided an update on the number of carbon neutral airports worldwide.
The Airport Carbon Accreditation program certifies airports at four different levels – Mapping, Reduction, Optimization and Neutrality. Marrakesh-Menara and Mohammed V are currently certified at the first level, Mapping, with plans to make changes and move through the stages over time, eventually reaching Neutrality.
The initiative has the full support of various global institutions, including the United Nations and the European Commission. At last year’s COPP21, the European airport industry pledged to have 50 carbon-neutral airports by 2030, and in the past year five more have reached that goal. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport became the first carbon neutral airport in the USA, while Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport is the first in India.
Zouhair Mohammed El Aoufir, CEO of the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA), the operator of the Marrakesh and Casablanca airports, said, “We are pleased to receive today this first level of accreditation, which validates ONDA’s approach in the management of greenhouse gas emissions from the two biggest airports in Morocco. These airports represent 6.7% of the African continent’s air traffic. With this voluntary action, we are committing to reducing the environmental impact of our activities.”
Niclas Svenningsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany, added, “We are very encouraged to see these two airports embark on a strategy to reduce their carbon emissions. Their proactivity underlines how better carbon management can gain ground here in Africa, in parallel to advancing in other parts of the world.”