EUROPEAN AIRPORTS COMMIT TO NET ZERO EMISSIONS

Michael Trout - Jul 1, 2019
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Around a quarter of all CO2 emissions are caused by global traffic. An effective reduction of emissions can only be achieved with an international agreement. The members of the European airports association are attempting to go ahead with the idea.

Today, 43 European airports are CO2-neutral. So far, only 3 airports in Europe have achieved net zero CO2: Lulea, Ronneby and Visby, all in Sweden. The operator Swedavia wants to reach zero emissions by 2020 at all its airports. Hamburg has set their goal for 2022, while Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Copenhagen are targeting 2030.

194 European airports from 24 countries have signed a declaration to reduce their CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. They combined 62.5% of European passenger traffic last year. Dr. Michael Kerkloh, head of the Munich Airport and president of the association presented the initiative at the General Assembly in Limassol, Cyprus.

“Europe’s airports have been taking action against climate change with annual reductions announced each year over the past decade. 43 of them have become carbon neutral, as part of the global Airport Carbon Accreditation Standard,” he said.

“However, today’s commitment brings a new dimension. Crucially, with its NetZero2050 commitment, the airport industry is aligning itself with the Paris Agreement and the new “climate” goal adopted by the EU,” Kerkloh added.

The goal includes the buildings of the airports, its infrastructure etc., not emissions from aircraft. Kerkloh, however, motivated designers to work on zero emissions from aircraft as well, given the public demand for action in the field of climate change. The executive also concluded that introducing a tax for air travel would solve nothing in this direction and would be a meaningless gesture.

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