ACI: ’50 airports now carbon neutral in Europe’ following upgrades in Lapland

By Charlotte Turner |

Finavia-Lapland-Kittilä-Airport-leadAhead of the COP25 due to kick off in Santiago de Chile next month, European airport trade body ACI Europe has given an update on the progress airports have made to deliver on their commitment to reach 100 carbon neutral airports by 2030.

 

This commitment is a major interim step towards their Net Zero by 2050 vision & pledge – the global aviation industry’s commitment to cap net carbon emissions from aviation through carbon neutral growth as of 2020 and to halve the net aviation carbon emissions by 2050 compared to the level of 2005, among other goals – which is part of the wider Sustainability Strategy for Airports, launched last June by ACI Europe.

 

With the successful upgrade today of six Lapland Airports operated by Finavia (the Finnish airport operator) to Level 3+ Neutrality of the global CO2 management standard, Airport Carbon Accreditation, there are now 50 carbon neutral airports in Europe.

 

As reported, over 300 industry representatives have pledged support for green/sustainability initiatives launched by TRBusiness and DFI – the Travel Retail Sustainability Forum, the TR Plastic Pledge and the introduction of the Best Green Initiative by an Airport prize, for the 2020 Travel Retail Awards.

 

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Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe said: “Just three years after committing to 100 carbon neutral airports by 2030, the European airport industry is now halfway through to achieve that goal.

 

INVESTMENT IN HIGH QUALITY CARBON OFFSETS

“The 50 airports that have become carbon neutral under Airport Carbon Accreditation welcome over one-fourth of the continent’s passenger traffic – with a mix of major hubs & smaller regional airports amongst them.”

 

Carbon neutrality currently represents the highest level of carbon management performance under Airport Carbon Accreditation, says ACI Europe.

 

ACI-Europe-Airport-Carbon-Accreditation-wide

There are now 50 carbon neutral airports in Europe.

 

“In order to reach it, airports need to reduce CO2 emissions from those sources under their control as much as possible, and compensate for the remaining residual emissions with investment in high-quality carbon offsets,” says the airports council.

 

Carbon neutral airports at Level 3+ of the Airport Carbon Accreditation have to provide evidence of undertaking all the actions required by the programme (mapping their emissions, reducing them and engaging operational stakeholders on the airport site to do the same), before investing in carbon offsets.

 

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE copy

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe.

Jankovec added: “While the net zero concept does not allow for offsetting, reaching carbon neutrality first allows airports to grow towards more ambitious CO2 management & restrictions in a progressive way.

 

GROWING URGENCY TO RESPOND TO THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

“With the commitment of the European airport industry to reach Net Zero CO2 emissions under their control by 2050 an absolute priority, Europe’s airports continue their steady pace to reach the goalposts between their current carbon management level and the ambitious objective ahead.”

 

Niclas Svenningsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in Bonn, Germany commented: “We are delighted to see more and more airports in Europe achieving their hard-won carbon neutrality each year.

 

“We note that the momentum airports have created through their decade-long progress within Airport Carbon Accreditation has been further galvanised by the growing urgency to respond to the Climate Emergency.

 

“Europe’s airports continue to be an example to follow in the field of non-state action to address the climate emergency. While having their eyes on the big goal of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050, they continue their incremental work to reduce their climate impact. This, is exactly the kind of industry leadership we need to address the daunting and unprecedented challenge that Climate Change represents.”

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