ACI urges states to agree on goal for decarbonisation ahead of ICAO meeting

By Faye Bartle |

Family at airport. Photo: Shutterstock.Airports Council International (ACI) has said ‘the time to act is now’ on a unified, global consensus for the aviation industry to reach its decarbonisation goals.

Ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in Montreal, Canada, (19-22 July), the trade association of the world’s airports has today stressed the need to come to a collaborative agreement to establish a ‘clear regulatory framework in which the aviation industry can thrive while continuing to deliver socio-economic benefits’.

ACI World, ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI EUROPE, ACI Latin America-Caribbean and ACI North America are jointly urging state representatives to concur on a long-term aspirational goal for CO2 emissions reductions, aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C goal and the industry objective of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

At the high-level ICAO gathering next week, the aviation industry, ministers and state officials are set to discuss the feasibility of such a goal.

The states’ representatives will examine the outcomes from the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection and seek to make policy commitments in preparation for the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly (27 September to 7 October 2022), which will establish the worldwide policy of the organisation for the next three years.

ACI says an agreement in advance of the Assembly would ‘help provide the necessary regulatory certainty for investment and finance to be granted, particularly for the development and deployment of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, and other solutions as they mature’.

ACI and its member airports – as of January 2022, the association serves 717 members operating 1,950 airports in 185 countries – have already committed, at the global level, to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with support from governments.

As previously reported, more than 130 ACI member airports have brought forward their target to 2030 or earlier, with 10 airports already achieving net zero.

ACI and its member airports are also part of Air Transport Action Group’s net zero carbon goal for aviation emissions, which aligns with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C goal.

Further to this, 403 airports in 79 countries around the world are now certified at all levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme (the global airport carbon management certification standard).

Of these, 87 airports are either carbon neutral or ‘pursuing the highest levels of the programme’.

ACI highlighted how the industry needs ‘assistance’ during the transition via governments when it comes to tackling climate change while moving forward with sustainable development that would allow states to ‘grow their economies’.

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