COP21: European airports make climate change pledge

Frankfurt Airport

The European airport industry has pledged at the COP21 climate conference in Paris to increase the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030 through the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

Airports Council International (ACI) Europe says this commitment builds on a succession of actions it has taken along with its members to address the impact of aviation on climate change – which it says all contribute to the overall aviation industry global climate goals set under the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

These actions ACI Europe says are focused on managing, reducing and ultimately neutralising airports’ carbon footprint.

Airport Carbon Accreditation certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality) and is independently administered.

In the past 12 months Airport Carbon Accredited status has been earned by 137 airports worldwide.

Following the announcement yesterday at a UNFCCC-ICROA panel session at COP21, ACI Europe president and chief executive officer of Aéroports de Paris, Augustin de Romanet says: “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.”

He adds “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.”