Last updated: 08:28 PM ET, Sun December 06 2015

Europe Pledges 50 Carbon-Neutral Airports by 2030

Airlines & Airports | Michael Isenbek | December 06, 2015

Europe Pledges 50 Carbon-Neutral Airports by 2030

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Amid the flurry of speeches, presentations and protests at the recent 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the European airport industry committed to having a total of 50 carbon neutral airports by the year 2030, Advance, a U.K. aerospace/military-oriented trade publication reported.

Airports use a considerable amount of energy. Per the European Commission, via Road Warrior Voices, large hubs use the same amount of thermal energy and electricity on a daily basis as a city of 100,000 people.

The goal for European airports is to be completely carbon neutral across the board, a commitment established in June 2008, Advance said. To achieve that end, a carbon management standard called Airport Carbon Accreditation was established in June 2009. 

The Continent isn’t starting from square one, though. As Augustin de Romanet, President of Airports Council International Europe said in a press release after the announcement, according to Advance, “at the moment, there are 93 airports in Europe that are certified under Airport Carbon Accreditation. These airports welcome 64 percent of annual European passenger traffic. Twenty of these airports are carbon neutral and our commitment to bring that number to 50 by 2030 reflects both our resolve and our ambition to do more.”

Road Warrior Voices pointed out that Amsterdam and Venice are among the locations of carbon-neutral airports.

Carbon-neutrality is also catching on outside of Europe. Advance said 137 airports worldwide (representing 31 percent of global passenger traffic) have earned Carbon Accredited status.

Romanet, who is also CEO of Aeroports de Paris, explained in the release the way climate change could impact the airline business, stating, “changes in rainfall, temperature variations, sea-level rise, changes in wind patterns — all of these have potentially severe implications for our industry, for the wider air transport sector and for European connectivity.”

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