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130 airports actively addressing their CO2 emissions


30 Sep 2015


Sustainable Dev.
Geneva: On the occasion of the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit organised by ATAG* and currently taking place in Geneva, the independent programme Airport Carbon Accreditation announced the latest progress in the airport industry’s efforts to reduce and ultimately neutralise its carbon emissions.
Following the industry’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions made 7 years ago**, the intervening years since then have seen a critical mass of airports taking action to lower their impact on climate change through their participation in Airport Carbon Accreditation – the global carbon management standard for the airport business.
The 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 International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the United Nation Environment Panel (UNEP) and the European Union (EU), the US FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) and many others.
As announced yesterday, 130 airports across the 5 continents are currently certified under Airport Carbon Accreditation. These airports welcome over 29% of global air passenger traffic.
Speaking ahead of the COP21 climate negotiations - which are due to start in November in Paris - EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, praised the airport industry’s engagement in curbing carbon emissions: “It is reassuring to see an industry as visible and strategically relevant as the airport industry proactively addressing its carbon emissions. By allowing airports to work their way through 4 levels of certification, Airport Carbon Accreditation bridges their individual efforts and their collective achievement as an industry. With airports playing host to so many other companies, the past 6 years have shown that the programme is also having a halo effect on them, as airlines, air traffic controllers, retailers, passengers and surface transport also get involved to lower their CO2 emissions on the airport site. I congratulate ACI on the momentum they have achieved with this - bringing an industry-led climate change initiative which began here in Europe all the way to becoming the global standard.”
These are the latest developments over the past 3 months, in some of the key world regions:
In North America, just one year on from the programme launch there, there are now 8 airports certified. The 2 most recent certifications are Denver International Airport and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), both very prominent US airports, with cumulative traffic of over 100 million passengers a year. DFW is the very first US airport to achieve certification at Level 3 Optimisation, having successfully reduced its own CO2 emissions and engaged its local partners on the airport site to do the same.
In Latin America, just 9 months on from the programme launch there, there are now 4 airports certified. The 3 most recent certifications are Quito International Airport, Tijuana International Airport and Galapagos Ecological Airport. In parallel, the first airport to become certified, Puerto Vallarta International Airport has succeeded in moving up to Level 2 Reduction.
Meanwhile in Europe, in the past 3 months, Bergamo Orio al Serio and Ljubljana Airport, have moved up a level of certification, to Level 2 Reduction, having proven they have achieved carbon reduction.
In parallel, Sydney Airport and 4 airports in the AOT (Airports of Thailand) group in Thailand have also succeeded in progressing to ‘Level 2 Reduction’. These developments are in addition to renewal certifications of airports in Belgium, Croatia, France, Sweden, Italy and Turkey. Europe now counts 92 certified airports, while Asia-Pacific has 25 certified.
In addition, airports which have firmly committed to apply in the coming months for certification at one of the 4 levels of the programme include Honolulu airport and San Francisco International Airport in North America as well as Libreville Airport and Abidjan Airport in Africa.
To find out more about the programme and how airports are lowering their carbon emissions, the full results for Year 6 of the programme (June 2014 to June 2015) are available as an e-publication and also an interactive microsite