The Airports Council International (ACI) has released its annual report on the Airport Climate action results for Carbon Accreditation.
Airports are reducing the number of emissions at record rates, as well as there is an increase of 91 accreditations reported – The highest growth since the Airport Carbon Accreditation was launched in 2009.
Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for Programmes Coordination at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), said:
“The results announced today speak volumes of the global airport industry’s commitment to fighting climate change.”
“Against the backdrop of worsening climate impacts and the window of opportunity to keep the warming below 1.5°C rapidly closing, we need all parts of our global economy to act now.”
86 airports have upgraded their level of carbon management, and 89 possess ‘advanced levels’ of carbon management.
Worldwide Emissions reduction
The initiative spans airports across the world, both large and small.
From hubs like Heathrow, Qatar’s Hamad International, and Changi Airport in Singapore, all the way down to far-flung corners of the world like Kelowna, Enfidha-Hammamet in Tunisia, and Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands Airport.
“Airports have clearly understood this message and are on the front line of climate mitigation within their spheres of influence and lending their impetus to other industry actors.”
“I commend each and every airport engaged in this collective effort to advance the decarbonization of the airport industry globally,” continued Svenningsen.
ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec expressed how proud he was of the strides made towards a greener industry by saying:
“The Airport Carbon Accreditation program is at the heart of what decarbonizing an industry like aviation must be about: aspirational yet deeply practical and actionable, charting not only achievements today but the way forwards for tomorrow”.
The period measured was between May 2021 to May 2022 and includes a time when airports were struggling to deal with the impacts of Covid on the industry.
Showing that they continued to prioritize emissions reductions, even in the face of one of the toughest periods the industry has ever experienced.
The collective group of airports succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions by a total of 549,643 tonnes which translates into a -8.1% reduction, the largest ever recorded.
On top of this, the compensation of 898,821 tonnes of CO2 emissions was enabled with the purchase of high-quality carbon credits.
Carbon offset credits work in such a way whereby companies who emit CO2 buy credits to make up for the greenhouse gases it releases into the atmosphere.
The money received from the purchase goes towards initiatives that remove the same amount of carbon emitted in the first place out of the air.
ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “The record-breaking results of the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation program are great achievements by the world’s airports.”
“Founded by ACI Europe, this program has become a global success—as reflected in its year-over-year growth.”
“Congratulations to all 395 airports, spanning 79 countries across all ACI Regions, that have engaged in carbon management and reduction.”
“Despite the challenges brought on by the impact of the pandemic, the airport industry continues to demonstrate its commitment to net zero carbon emissions for international aviation by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.”
Level 4 framework within the Paris Agreement states that such infrastructure must align their carbon management and reduction endeavors with the objectives stated in the agreement, such as: attempting to limit global warming to 2 degrees celsius as a maximum, but with 1.5 degrees as the ideal.