European Airports Make Significant Commitment to Reduce Emissions

LONDON – According to ACI – Europe (Airport Council International), European airports show full commitment to drastically reducing emissions. 

Almost half of the European airports have agreed to reduce their net-zero emissions from 2030 rather than 2050. The announcement was made at the 32nd Annual Congress and General Assembly of ACI Europe in Rome on the 23rd of June.

The efforts and the commitment made by European airports are significant and are a big win for sustainability. This would mean ACI’s Europe net-zero 2050 plan drafted in early 2019 will be moved to 2030 instead.

The meeting was chaired by Oliver Jankovec, Director General of ACI. This plan goes in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and will accelerate Europe’s plan to become net-zero way faster than expected.

Jankovec said: “Since the Resolution was first made in June 2019, both committing the airport industry as a whole and over 200 airports individually, the number of our members signing up as individual businesses has increased by more than 60, now numbering over 270.”

“Let’s not forget this is a time period during which we were in the grip of a global pandemic. This speaks for itself. Moreover, the Resolution is endorsed by our National Association Members1, confirming the breadth and depth of these commitments across Europe”.

This action shows that major European airports are recognising the reality of the climate emergency. 

In fact, nearly 130 European airports or close to  50% of the airports have committed to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2030 or even earlier. These airports now have a target date of 2030 or earlier. All together these airports make up 23.8% of the entire European traffic. 

The Swedes lead the way 

Ten airports in Sweden, including its largest airport, Stockholm Arlanda have already achieved net-zero carbon dioxide emission in 2021. This is followed by Toulon Hyères in 2024, by Athens International Airport and the 20 Finavia airports in 2025, and in 2026 by Lyon.

These are all regional and mid-sized international airports, with the exception of Athens and Stockholm. Airports that are to follow suit in 2030 are:

Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino, Nice Airport, 10 airports in Portugal, 44 airports in Norway, 10 French regional airports operated by VINCI airports), 3 Airports in Lithuania, 4 airports under Royal Schiphol Group, Copenhagen, Keflavik, and many more scattered across the United Kingdom, including, Leeds Bradford, and London Gatwick. 

Jankovec further added: “This is a significant step-change. To date, our emphasis has been very much upon those activities within the control of an airport – which whilst a hugely important part of the aviation ecosystem, is not the major contributor to global emissions from aviation.”

“With this Scope 3 Guidance, we are harnessing the position of an airport as the place where all the services and actions come together and acting as a true catalyst for change”.

It is now clear that most European airports are now in the bandwagon after years of debating. It is no surprise that airports in Sweden are leading the pack under Swedavia. Scandinavian airports topping the rank is not a surprise, and other mainland European airports are set to follow suit. 

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