European airport industry to create 50 carbon-neutral airports by 2030

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Left: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands is one of 20 airports currently certified as carbon neutral

On Wednesday (December 2) during COP21 in Paris, France, leaders from the European airport industry committed to increasing the number of carbon-neutral airports to 50 by 2030.

The new commitment builds on efforts made by ACI Europe and its members to address the impact of aviation on climate change in accordance with goals set under the Air Transport Action Group. These actions focus on managing, reducing and ultimately neutralizing airports’ carbon footprint.

To help achieve its objectives, ACI Europe launched the carbon management standard Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) in Europe in June 2009. ACA certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation including Mapping, Reduction, Optimization and Neutrality. It is independently administered, institutionally endorsed, and has won praise from the ICAO, the UNEP and the EC. In the past 12 months, ACA status has been earned by a total of 137 airports worldwide, representing 31% of global passenger traffic.

Augustin de Romanet, president of ACI Europe and CEO of Aéroports de Paris, said, “Europe’s airports are fully behind the objective of keeping global warming below 2°C – and they are urging states to come to a global, robust and legally binding agreement in Paris. For its part, the airport industry has already moved from words to actions a while ago. Throughout Europe and beyond, airports are effectively working to mitigate and reduce their own impact on climate change. At the moment, there are 93 airports in Europe that are certified under ACA. These airports welcome 64% of annual European passenger traffic. 20 of these airports are carbon neutral and our commitment to bring that number to 50 by 2030 reflects both our resolve and our ambition to do more.

“For airports, carbon management is as much about being at the forefront of corporate and social responsibility as it is about business continuity. Climate change poses a significant risk to the airport industry – changes in rainfall, temperature variations, sea-level rise, changes in wind patterns – all of these have potentially severe implications for our industry, for the wider air transport sector and for European connectivity.”

The 20 airports currently certified as carbon neutral include all 10 airports operated by Swedavia in Sweden; Oslo and Trondheim airports in Norway; Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands; Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate and Venice airports in Italy; and Ankara Esenboga and ICF Antalya airports in Turkey.

Image courtesy of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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