A partnership to cut emissions from airports and take the industry towards climate neutrality was launched today. The partnership was signed at COP21 in Paris by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Airports Council International (ACI), which developed the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.
Emissions reductions will be achieved through use of energy-efficient lighting, cooling and heating systems, solar energy, climate-friendly ground transportation and a wide range of other measures aimed at climate neutrality.
ACI will support the UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, while the UNFCCC secretariat will support airport carbon accreditation, whereby airports measure, report and reduce their emissions.
The two organizations will develop a common work programme and communications plan promoting carbon neutrality. UNFCCC will join the advisory board of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which aims to increase the number of airports graduating to carbon neutral status.
In the past 12 months, 137 airports worldwide, representing 31 percent of global passenger traffic have earned ACI’s “airport carbon accredited” status. There are currently 20 carbon neutral airports. The partnership announcement follows the commitment by the European airport industry last week at COP21 to increase the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030.
“It is immensely encouraging to see an industry as visible and strategically relevant as the airport industry being so proactive on climate action,” said John Kilani, Director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme, UNFCCC secretariat. “What ACI has achieved through airport carbon accreditation over the past six years is inspiring – to mobilize 137 airports in the journey towards carbon neutrality is an example that many other industries could learn from.”
Angela Gittens, Director General ACI WORLD and Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE in a joint statement said “Today is a very big day for ACI and Airport Carbon Accreditation. To gain the support of an organization as authoritative as the UNFCCC is something we consider a major achievement and a genuine recognition of the contribution of the airport industry to the climate action through Airport Carbon Accreditation. We are delighted to be partnering with UNFCCC and look forward to their input in the Advisory Board of the programme.”
Launched at Climate Week in New York in September 2015, Climate Neutral Now encourages countries, industries, organizations and even individuals to measure their emissions, reduce what they can and offset the rest with quality certified emission reduction from Clean Development Mechanism projects in developing countries.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that aviation accounts for about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions. Of that figure, airport operations account for up to 5 percent.
For more information about the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, including key results, visit www.airportCO2.org and http://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org/airport/participants.html