Over 200 airports pledge to net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Together with the airports, 47 airport operators in 42 European countries have agreed to commit

The most recent update on the industry’s response to climate change shows that more and more airports are committed to decreasing emissions. The industry has been searching for a long-term solution and vision of net zero carbon emissions for the air transport network.

The association for Europe’s airports (ACI EUROPE) has revealed the newest numbers of pledged members following the United Nations Global Climate Action Summit taking place in New York.

Recently, ACI EUROPE announced its goal for its 500 members to reach net zero by the year 2050 for the emissions under its control. Up until now, 203 airports run by over 47 airport operators from 42 countries pledged to this goal.

 

“Our NetZero2050 commitment builds on a strong record of carbon management and reduction by the European airport industry, that has been well documented over the past decade,” said Director General ACI EUROPE. 

 “Crucially, it means the European airport industry is aligning with the latest scientific evidence, the need to secure a +1.5C future and the Paris Agreement.”

European airports have seen 2.34 billion passengers in 2018 and based on the current data, the net zero commitment should eliminate a total of 3.46 million tonnes of annual carbon emissions by 2050.

The 203 airports signing the commitment welcomed 64.3 per cent of air passenger traffic in Europe. Other airports are welcome to join as well.

As of now, there are three net zero emissions airports in Europe

Copenhagen and other European cities aim to have net zero emissions airports by 2030 — Shutterstock
Copenhagen and other European cities aim to have net zero emissions airports by 2030 — Shutterstock
 

So far, there are three net zero airports in Europe, all operated Swedavia, a Swedish airport operator. These airports are Lulea, Ronneby, and Visby but Swedavia plans to make all its airports net zero emissions by 2020.

Hamburg is set to have a net zero emissions airport by 2022 and other airports, such as the Dutch airports of Amsterdam Schiphol and Eindhoven and Danish Copenhagen, aim for 2030.

“With this new commitment, we are encouraged to see so many European airports voluntarily set their ambitions to become NetZero by 2050. There is still a lot more to do, a lot about air transport that needs to change – but this is a promising step in the right direction,” said Niclas Svenningsen, head of the “Climate Neutral Now” initiative of United Nations Climate Change agency.