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NEWS Last modified on November 8, 2019

UK gateway unveils plans to become a zero carbon airport

Birmingham Airport has broadcast its green intentions to the world by announcing its commitment to become a net zero carbon airport by the year 2033.

The UK gateway says it will achieve this goal by prioritising zero carbon airport operations and minimising carbon offsets.

The Midlands airport has already cut its carbon emissions by 33% since 2013, and emissions per passenger by over 50%, despite a 40% rise in passenger traffic.

And it insists that its biggest opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint is via on-site renewable energy generation.
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Airport CEO, Nick Barton, says: “Technology is changing at some pace and the movement to a net-zero economy itself is driving innovation across the energy and transportation industry, and we are going to take advantage of this.

“Over the next six to twelve months we will be working to revise our existing carbon management plan and develop a roadmap. This will allow us to set and prioritise genuine carbon reduction objectives rather than carbon off-setting schemes, as we see this as the least favourable option.

“We don’t have all the answers about how we will hit this target, but we are confident that through innovation and collaboratively working with industry, government, manufacturers, on-site partners and employees, we can reach our target by 2033.”

Reducing aviation's impact on the environment is arguably the industry's biggest challenge and the UK aerospace and aviation industries have already invested £22 billion in green technology since 2005, helping reduce the carbon emissions from UK aviation by 28%.  
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Birmingham Airport works with Sustainable Aviation which is made up of airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air traffic service providers to work together towards our common goal of cleaner, quieter and smarter aviation.

Sustainable Aviation will publish its fourth Decarbonisation Roadmap soon, drawing upon the latest evidence and expertise from across the industry.

It notes that each generation of aircraft is 20% more efficient than the last, and aviation has delivered annual fuel efficiency improvements of 1.5% over the last decade.

Barton adds: “We are also doing our bit locally to help airlines reduce their emissions. For example, we are fully supportive of the UK’s Airspace Modernisation programme, which the Committee on Climate Change advise is required to be delivered if the UK is going to achieve net-zero by 2050.
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“We’ve already delivered changes to our airspace as part of the UK Airspace Modernisation programme and we will continue to work with the CAA, Sustainable Aviation and airline partners to help reduce aircraft emissions further.”

In addition to the development of Birmingham Airport’s carbon roadmap, it will publish an updated Sustainability Strategy, later this month.

This will outline the airport’s vision to address the key aspects of its environmental and community impacts over the next five years, including noise, carbon, water, waste, air quality, water, biodiversity and employment.

 

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