Airports Council International and UNFCCC ink partnership to support sectors' plans to slash emissions
The aviation industry has come in for plenty of criticism at the UN climate summit in Paris thanks to the slow progress of parallel International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) efforts to introduce new mechanisms for curbing emissions from the sector. But that has not stopped the industry promoting its work to curb emissions from airports through a new partnership with the UN's climate change secretariat.
The UNFCCC announced yesterday it has signed a partnership with trade body Airports Council International (ACI) that will see airports support the UN's Climate Neutral Now offsetting scheme. Meanwhile, the UN body will support ACI's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which aims to encourage airports to measure, report and reduce their emissions.
The two organisations said they would also "develop a common work programme and communications plan promoting carbon neutrality".
In the past 12 months, 137 airports worldwide, representing 31 per cent of global passenger traffic, have earned ACI's "airport carbon accredited" status and are reporting on their emissions in line with agreed standards. Moreover, there are currently 20 "carbon-neutral" airports that have committed to purchasing carbon credits to offset emissions they cannot reduce.
The partnership announcement also follows a pledge by the European airport industry last week to increase the number of "carbon-neutral" airports to 50 by 2030.
"It is immensely encouraging to see an industry as visible and strategically relevant as the airport industry being so proactive on climate action," said John Kilani, director of the sustainable development mechanisms programme at the UNFCCC, in a statement. "What ACI has achieved through airport carbon accreditation over the past six years is inspiring - to mobilise 137 airports in the journey towards carbon neutrality is an example that many other industries could learn from."
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