Airport industry reaffirms commitment to climate action

Through the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, 300 airports continue to work towards making positive contributions to limiting climate change.

Climate change requires airports to change

As the aviation sector looks towards initial greenshoots of recovery, airports have renewed their commitments to climate action.

Eleven years after the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme first launched – despite the declines in passenger traffic and revenues – airports worldwide are still showing determination to work towards sustainable air travel. 

The airport industry has recognised that timely action is key to reducing the risk of future global and regional crises due to climate change – which in turn will be crucial in strengthening airport resilience.

Underpinning the sustainability ambitions of the airport sector, during the height of the COVID-19 crisis a number of airports joined Airport Carbon Accreditation for the first time, and several more progressed further through the accreditation levels.

In fact, it was during the worst of the pandemic that the programme passed the milestone of 300 accredited airports worldwide. The global total now stands at 312 Carbon Accredited airports.

In order to ensure that airports can maintain and grow their climate action in spite of the crisis and its impacts, the Airport Carbon Accreditation Advisory Board has approved a set of temporary adjustments to the programme requirements. Amongst others, these changes allow airports to benefit from a one year extension of their certification. This way, airports are supported during the worst of the economic downturn and are enabled to embed climate action into their recovery plans.

Climate action will be key in rebuilding public trust. Investing in climate-friendly infrastructure, operational efficiencies and teaming up with partners throughout the aviation ecosystem for the benefit of local communities makes business sense as well as benefiting the future.

Niclas Svenningsen, Manager for Global Climate Action at UNFCCC, said: “Looking to the post-COVID-19 future, we’re certainly going to see the acceleration of certain trends. With huge commitment and determination from the airport industry, their leadership in setting the path towards tangible reductions in climate footprint was already in place. Recovery from the pandemic is an opportunity to build back better. Airports are voting for the future they want with their feet – by taking us beyond the 300 accredited airport milestone even at the height of the hit. This is an industry with an unshakable determination not to just play its part but to make a true difference.”

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