Commitment translated into action: over 300 European airports lead the charge to net zero CO2 emissions under their control

3 July 2024

Istanbul: ACI EUROPE today announced significant advancements in the European airport industry's commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions. As of today, 303 airports have disclosed roadmaps towards net zero by 2050, translating their commitment into concrete action. These airports facilitate 80% of European air passenger traffic — confirming that a vast majority of Europe’s airports are working towards this shared objective. Additionally, 118 of these airports have set even more ambitious targets, aiming to achieve net zero by 2030 or earlier.

Airport industry resolution expanded and reaffirmed

Today’s announcement is underpinned by important updates to the ACI EUROPE Resolution committing European airports to achieving and maintaining net zero carbon emissions under their control by 20501 at the latest. First adopted in 2019, the Resolution is reviewed each year, welcoming more airports on board with more ambitious targets, as well as including new stringent requirements to engagement. Last year, the Resolution was further strengthened by requiring committed airports to publish, within one year, their own roadmap outlining their plans to achieve net zero emissions under their control. This requirement aimed at aligning with the 2022 UN Guidance on net zero pledges2, which recommends that net zero commitments from non-State entities should be backed by publicly disclosed and actionable net zero plans. As a result, the publicly available repository on the ACI EUROPE website today features over 80 roadmaps covering 303 airports in 36 countries3, ensuring transparency and accountability in the industry's progress towards its net zero goals.

Airport climate action results

The concerted climate efforts by the airport industry have been consistently yielding positive results, as evidenced by the growing participation and annual emissions reductions achieved through the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

To date, 290 European airports have been certified for carbon management within Airport Carbon Accreditation, with 47 airports achieving levels of certification fully aligned with the Paris Agreement. These airports have collectively saved half a million tonnes of CO24 from being emitted into the atmosphere in the most recent reporting period of the programme (May 2022 – May 2023).

Building on a trajectory of continuous evolution and stepping up airport industry’s climate ambitions, ACI moved to introduce a new level of accreditation in December 2023 — Level 55. In a global- and industry‑first, this new level established a decarbonisation blueprint, certifying airports for reaching and maintaining a net zero carbon balance for emissions under their control (Scope 1 and 2), and extending mapping, influencing and reporting requirements for all other emissions (Scope 3). Level 5 accredited airports are also required to commit to achieving net zero carbon across all three scopes by 2050. As of now, thirteen airports in Europe hold this milestone accreditation6.

Call to action

Through the updated resolution, ACI EUROPE and its member airports reaffirm their steadfast commitment to a net zero aviation and issue a message of support for the European Commission’s vision of a climate‑neutral Europe by 2050 and the EU Green Deal. Concurrently, the industry calls for enhanced cooperation among all stakeholders, including the new EU leaders and national governments, to address the mother of all challenges, namely transforming air transport into a sustainable and competitive net zero sector for the future.

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1 https://www.aci-europe.org/component/attachments/attachments.html?id=3000

2 https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/high-level_expert_group_n7b.pdf

3 Repository of Airports' Net Zero Carbon Roadmaps (aci-europe.org)

4 https://www.airportcarbonaccreditation.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/AIRPORT-CARBON-ACCREDITATION-ANNUAL-REPORT-2022-2023-WEB-VERSION.pdf

5 Global carbon standard launches its new pinnacle at COP28, certifying airports for achieving net zero carbon balance - Airport Carbon Accreditation

6 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, Beja Airport, Madeira Airport, Ponta Delgada Airport, Göteborg Landvetter Airport, Malmö Airport, Ivalo, Kittilä, Kuusamo, Rovaniemi - Lapland Airports, and Toulon-Hyères Airport

 

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  • Note to editors

    For more information, contact:

    Agata Lyznik
    Director of Communications & Media
    Tel: +32 2 552 09 89
    Email: agata.lyznik@aci-europe.org

    ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 55 countries. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe. Air transport supports 13.5 million jobs, generating €886 billion in European economic activity (4.4% of GDP). In response to the Climate Emergency, in June 2019 our members committed to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for operations under their control by 2050, without offsetting.

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