Europe’s airports announce commitment to net zero carbon by 2050

Europe’s airports have announced a joint commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the continent to zero by 2050, in an industry-wide response to the “climate emergency”.

The commitment was unveiled at Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s Annual Congress & General Assembly in Cyprus, alongside a rallying call to the entire aviation industry to adopt the same ambition and develop a roadmap towards an entirely zero carbon air transport system.

“Europe’s airports have been leading climate action with annual reductions announced every year for the past decade,” said ACI Europe president and Munich Airport CEO, Dr Michael Kerkloh.

“Today, 43 of them have actually become carbon neutral, supported by the global industry standard Airport Carbon Accreditation. However, today’s commitment brings a new dimension to this – no offsets.

“Crucially, with its NetZero2050 commitment, the airport industry is aligning itself with the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the vast majority of EU countries.”

The Cyprus pledge is supported by 194 airports across Europe, run by 40 different airport operators – all of them individually affirming their commitment to the same goal.

The shared net zero objective will eliminate a total of 3.46 million tons of annual CO2 emissions as of 2050, in an industry that welcomes 2.34 billion passengers in 2018.

“Europe’s airports have already started delivering, and I am confident that many will reach net zero before 2050,” added Kerkloh.

“There are already three net zero airports in Europe: Luleå, Ronneby and Visby – operated by the Swedish airport operator, Swedavia.”

“Swedavia aims to achieve net zero emissions for all its airports including Stockholm-Arlanda by 2020 along with Hamburg airport by 2022, while Amsterdam-Schiphol, Eindhoven and Copenhagen airports have set this goal for 2030.”