This new commitment builds on a succession of actions taken by ACI EUROPE and its members to address the impact of aviation on Climate change – all contributing to the overall aviation industry global climate goals set under the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). These actions are focused on managing, reducing and ultimately neutralising airports’ carbon footprint.
In June 2008, the European airport industry committed to reduce its carbon emissions with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral and provide measurable progress on that pledge. To help achieve that objective, the carbon management standard Airport Carbon Accreditation was launched in Europe in June 2009. Following its progressive extension to other World Regions, by November 2014 Airport Carbon Accreditation had established itself as the only global carbon management programme for the airport business.
Airport Carbon Accreditation certifies airports at 4 different levels of accreditation (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality). It is independently administered1, institutionally-endorsed and has already won praise from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission (EC).
In the past twelve months Airport Carbon Accredited status has been earned by a total of 137 airports worldwide, representing 31% of global passenger traffic.
Following the announcement of this new commitment at a UNFCCC-ICROA panel session2 at COP21, Augustin de Romanet, President of ACI EUROPE & 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 Airport Carbon Accreditation. These airports welcome 64% of annual European passenger traffic. 20 of these airports are carbon neutral3 and our commitment to bring that number to 50 by 2030 reflects both our resolve and our ambition to do more.”
He added “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.”