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170 airports, including new carbon neutral airports in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe


28 Sep 2016


Sustainable Dev.

Montreal: As all the actors in the air transport sector gather for the 39th ICAO Assembly in Montreal this week, aiming at agreeing on a Global Market Based Measure to address international airline emissions, the global airport industry is also meeting in Montreal – at this year’s ACI World & N-A Annual General Assembly. As is customary, Airports Council International released the annual results for the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme covering the period June 2015 to June 2016, to report on how the global airport industry° is delivering on its commitment to lower its own CO2 emissions, made in 2007*.

Now in its seventh year, the global programme certifies airports at 4 different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation and Neutrality). It is independently administered, institutionally-endorsed¹ and has already won praise from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Commission (EC).

Announcing the annual results, Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World commented “It’s been an incredible year for Airport Carbon Accreditation, with applications to the programme still increasing and new developments such as the important partnership with the UNFCCC and its Climate Neutral Now initiative signed at the COP21 climate negotiations. In terms of results, in the past year, accredited airports succeeded in collectively reducing the CO2 emissions under their direct control by 206,090 tonnes of CO2 - enough energy to power over 86,000 households for a year.”

She added “The momentum keeps building. As of this week, we now have 170 airports in the programme and over 36% of global air passenger traffic - well over 2 billion passengers - now travel through airports certified at one of the 4 levels of the programme. I also particularly want to congratulate the latest airports to become carbon neutral - Nice Cote d’Azur Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport - North America’s first carbon neutral airport - and Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport - the first carbon neutral airport in Asia-Pacific. These recent accreditations highlight that carbon neutrality is no longer just a goal shared by airports worldwide – with 26 such airports now in the programme, it is becoming a tangible reality. The constant efforts of airports to move up the levels in the programme is one of the reasons for the success of Airport Carbon Accreditation.”

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change commented ‘’COP21 was about engaging governments at the highest level, but effective climate action must also be significantly supported by a progressive private sector – sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. What Airport Carbon Accreditation has achieved over the past seven years is both surprising and inspiring. By charting a clear path airport operators are acting across a range of measures, from mapping their CO2 emissions, reducing them and engaging others, up to becoming carbon neutral too – there is much that other industries can learn from this and even emulate.”

For all the latest key figures, including details of the accredited airports in each world region, their actions and the difference the programme is making, visit





The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s total CO2 emissions account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure, airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but airports are keen to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with some having already achieved this.

* In 2007, the global airport industry committed to reduce its carbon emissions, in a special resolution passed at the ACI WORLD Annual Congress & Assembly.

°Originally developed and launched by ACI Europe in June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation was extended to airports in Asia-Pacific, in November 2011 (in partnership with ACI Asia-Pacific) and to African airports in June 2013, (in partnership with ACI Africa) and North American airports in September 2014 (in partnership with ACI-NA).


¹The programme is administered by leading consultancy WSP and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.


² The administrator of Airport Carbon Accreditation is WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, who have combined and are now one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms. Together we provide services to transform the built environment and restore the natural environment, and our expertise ranges from environmental remediation to urban planning, from engineering iconic buildings to designing sustainable transport networks, and from developing the energy sources of the future to enabling new ways of extracting essential resources. We have approximately 31,500 employees, including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors, program and construction management professionals, and various environmental experts. We are based in more than 500 offices across 39 countries worldwide.