In June of this year, ACI Europe announced a landmark resolution committing its 500 members to reach net zero by 2050 for the carbon emissions under their control.
As of today, that commitment has been undersigned by over 200 airports, reflecting their focus on a better way forward.
This commitment came alongside a call for the entire aviation sector to develop a long-term joint ambition and vision towards a net zero carbon emissions air transport system.
This, it says, is needed to supplement the significant efforts already being made by the aviation sector under ICAO’s Basket of Measures, including CORSIA – which will also be in the spotlight in the week ahead at the ICAO Assembly in Montréal.
The NetZero2050 pledge is further backed up so far by203 airports run by more than 47 airport operatorsacross 42 European countries - with each of them individually committing to the same objective.
This, says ACI Europe, marks another step change in the climate action of the airport industry. Based on Europe’s airports current traffic volumes (2.34 billion passengers welcomed in 2018) and estimated carbon footprint, this net zero commitment will eliminate a total of3.46 million tons of annual CO2emissionsas of 2050.
ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec, said: “Our NetZero2050 commitment builds on a strong record of carbon management and reduction by the European airport industry, that has been well documented over the past decade.
"Crucially, it means the European airport industry is aligning with the latest scientific evidence, the need to secure a +1.5°C future and the Paris Agreement.”
“We are delighted to passed the mark of 200 airports individually and vocally committing to this goal – many thanks to the airports that have come on board over the past 3 months: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Liege, Luxembourg, Malta, Salzburg, Southampton, Turin and Toulouse-Blagnac.
"We expect more to join in the coming months.”
Niclas Svenningsen, head of the Climate Neutral Now initiative of United Nations Climate Change agency, noted:“As a new decade looms large on the horizon, the need for step change, for significant action is getting louder by the day.
"The IPCC Special Report from last October is unequivocal about the need to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. We at UN Climate Change have been following the progress of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme for many years now.
"With this new commitment, we are encouraged to see so many European airports voluntarily set their ambitions to become Net Zero by 2050. There is still a lot more to do, a lot about air transport that needs to change – but this is a promising step in the right direction.”
The NetZero2050 commitment is an integral part of the ACI Europe’s comprehensive Sustainability Strategy for Airports.