Airports Council International (ACI) has published a new report titled Airport Carbon Accreditation Interim Report 2019-2020, which reveals that 34 airports have been accredited through ACI's Airport Carbon Accreditation programme for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while another 31 have progressed to a higher level of the programme.
According to ACI, the report has been labelled an interim report because two programme reporting years have been merged, to support airports in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, which means that airports only need to renew their accreditations once between May of 2019 and May of 2021. Therefore, the programme cannot present full results for this reporting period yet.
ACI stated, "Airport Carbon Accreditation is the only institutionally-endorsed, global carbon management certification programme for airports. It independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions through six levels of certification: 'mapping', 'reduction', 'optimisation', 'neutrality', 'transformation' and 'transition'.
"Through its six levels of certification, Airport Carbon Accreditation acknowledges that airports are at different stages in their journey towards comprehensive carbon management. It is a programme for airports of all sizes, extending beyond hubs and regional airports with scheduled passenger traffic, to include general aviation and freight-focussed airports."
ACI Europe Director General Statement
ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec stated, "As the industry that has been hardest hit by COVID-19, that will take the longest to recover and that is the hardest to decarbonise, aviation should be a prime beneficiary of state support to continue their work in this regard.
"The new Airport Carbon Accreditation Interim Report has delivered another case in point for airports' proven track record on the path to decarbonisation. Even as resources dried up, airports kept engaging. However, with the prospect of recovery almost as remote as at the beginning of the crisis, such commitment and engagement cannot be taken for granted. We all know we cannot wait for the health crisis to dissipate to address the accelerating climate emergency. Yet at the same time the relentless devastation suffered by the airport sector risks impeding their ability to act, and government help is both vital and urgent."
"The Climate Crisis Has Not Gone On Hold"
Meanwhile, Niclas Svennigsen, who heads the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, commented, "Airports have been severely hit by the COVID-19 crisis and yet, they are continuing their efforts to decarbonise and align with the global climate targets. Non-stakeholder climate action is an important part of our collective endeavour to cut emissions and limit the disastrous effects of climate change. The climate crisis has not gone on hold while we grapple with the pandemic, therefore we need to move faster and achieve deeper transformation of our industry and economy quicker. I commend airports for their leadership in this regard; a signal that can set an example for others to follow with ambitious climate action."
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