The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Airports Council International (ACI) have formed a partnership to cut emissions from airports and bring the airline travel industry closer to climate neutrality.
Emissions reductions will be achieved through the use of energy-efficient lighting, cooling and heating systems, solar energy, climate-friendly ground transportation and other measures aimed at climate neutrality.
The partnership announcement follows the commitment by the European airport industry at COP21 to increase the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030.
ACI will support the UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, while the UNFCCC secretariat will support the ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program, which aims to increase the number of airports graduating to carbon neutral status. UNFCCC will join the Airport Carbon Accreditation program advisory board.
The two organizations will develop a common work program and communications plan promoting carbon neutrality. In the past 12 months, 137 airports worldwide, representing 31 percent of global passenger traffic, have earned ACI’s airport carbon accredited status. There are currently 20 carbon neutral airports.
Launched at Climate Week in New York in September 2015, Climate Neutral Now encourages countries, industries, organizations and individuals to measure their emissions, reduce what they can and offset the rest with quality certified emission reduction from Clean Development Mechanism projects in developing countries.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that aviation accounts for about 2 percent of global CO2 emissions. Of that figure, airport operations account for up to 5 percent.