Left to right: Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World, Daniele Violetti, chief of staff, UNFCCC secretariat, and Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI Europe
Airports Council International (ACI) has signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a pledge to work together to promote carbon neutral and sustainable airports.
Taking place at COP21 yesterday (December 7), the agreement commits ACI to supporting the UNFCCC’s ‘Climate Neutral Now’ campaign, while the UNFCCC will support airport climate action at airports, with a particular focus on carbon management by airports through Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA).
The organizations also agree to develop a common work program and communications plan promoting carbon neutrality at airports. The agreement aims to increase the number of airports progressing to Level 3 (optimization) and Level 3+ (carbon neutrality). The UNFCCC will join the independent Advisory Board of ACA, thereby providing input into the strategy and future orientation of the program.
In the past 12 months, ACA status has been earned by a total of 137 airports worldwide, representing 31% of global passenger traffic. There are currently 20 carbon neutral airports – all of which are in Europe. This new partnership with the UNFCCC follows a commitment by the European airport industry last week at COP21 to increase the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030.
Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World, and Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI Europe, said, “This is a very big moment for ACI and ACA. To gain the support of an organization as authoritative as the UNFCCC is something we consider a major achievement and a genuine recognition of the contribution of the airport industry to the climate action through ACA. We are delighted to be partnering with UNFCCC and look forward to their input in the Advisory Board of the program.”
John Kilani, director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms program, UNFCCC secretariat, said, “It is immensely encouraging to see an industry as visible and strategically relevant as the airport industry being so proactive on climate action. What ACI has achieved through ACA over the past six years is inspiring – to mobilize 137 airports in the journey towards carbon neutrality is an example that many other industries could learn from. We count on their support for our Climate Neutral Now campaign and look forward to working with them through this new partnership.”