France’s first 100% carbon-neutral airport group has revealed its plans to emit zero greenhouse gases 20 years earlier than previously announced.
The Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group has announced a series of measures to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the three airports it operates: Nice Côte d’Azur, Cannes Mandelieu and Golfe de Saint-Tropez. While the Group joined 192 European airports in June 2019 in setting the 2050 zero greenhouse gas deadline, it has brought forward its own deadline, aiming to achieve this target in just 10 years.
Each of the three airports will advance at its own pace. Golfe de Saint-Tropez airport, which has been carbon-neutral since 2018, will produce zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, by further cutting its emissions and by installing a carbon well on-site that will absorb the 23 metric tons of CO2 equivalent of residual emissions. The new platform will become a net absorber of 2.5 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2022, and of 21 metric tons by 2034. In this way, the airport will continue to contribute to the conservation of the region, by absorbing the emissions from aircraft in the approach, taxiing and take-off phases.
Cannes Mandelieu airport will follow the same roadmap, with five emission reduction stages leading up to the 2030 zero-emissions target. From 2034 the platform will be able to absorb at least 14 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
France’s second-largest airport by passenger numbers, Nice Côte has already slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in 10 years, and became France’s first carbon-neutral airport in 2016.
“Today, passengers passing through our terminals account for barely 100g of CO2, which is 92% less than the average European airport. But these last few grams are the most difficult to eliminate, because they bring us face to face with technical or technological barriers that must be addresed if we are to achieve our goal of zero grams of emissions in just 10 years,” explains Isabelle Vandrot, head of sustainable development and the environment at Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur.
In 2020 the airport will have reduced its emissions by 83% by electrifying 80% of its service vehicles, then by 86% in 2021, by making its freight terminal and technical center gas-free. The gradual withdrawal of gas from all the buildings, the development of photovoltaic panels and the decarbonization of special machinery will all help the airport to achieve its goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The airport intends to extend its efforts beyond its scope of action by installing carbon wells that will make it an absorber of the CO2 emitted by the aircraft using the airport by 2034.