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European airport industry pledges 50 carbon neutral airports by 2030


02 Dec 2015


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

Paris, 02 December 2015: On the occasion of the presentation today of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme at COP21, the European airport industry committed to increase the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030.

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 (MappingReduction,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.”


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Note to Editors:

To view the full text of the ACI EUROPE Resolution for 50 Carbon Neutral Airports by 2030, 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%.

¹The programme is administered by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and overseen by an independent Advisory Board including representatives from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference), EUROCONTROL, the US Federal Aviation Authority, the Aviation & Environment Federation and Manchester Metropolitan University.

²The panel session organised by the UNFCCC and the International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance had the theme: Moving from obligation to opportunity, scaling climate neutrality to millions of companies.     

³The 20 airports currently certified as carbon neutral include all 10 airports operated by Swedavia AB in Sweden, Avinor Oslo and Trondheim airports in Norway, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate and Venice Airport in Italy and Ankara Esenboga Airport and ICF Antalya Airport in Turkey.

For the latest details of which airports are certified by the programme and at which of the 4 available levels, visit

For full details of the levels of accreditation of each airport certified in Year 6 of the programme (June 2014 to June 2015), visit the interactive, dedicated Annual Results microsite:

In 2013, the programme was selected as one of the Top 3 low carbon initiatives for Europe in the European Commission’s World You Like Contestand has also been highly commended at the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Awards in 2014.

**To find out more about the potential implications of Climate Change on airports, download the EUROCONTROL / ACI EUROPE & partners, Climate Resilience Factsheet here:


For more information, please contact

Robert O’Meara, Director of Media & Communications, ACI EUROPE

mobile: +32 (0)486 54 14 71 or tel: +32 (0)2 552 09 82.



Twitter: @ACI_EUROPE

ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents close to 500 airports in 45 European countries. In 2014, our member airports handled over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe, welcoming more than 1.8 billion passengers, 18.4 million tonnes of freight and 21.2 million aircraft movements. These airports contribute to the employment of 12.3 million people, generating €675 billion each year (4.1%) of GDP in Europe.



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