From the very beginning, Airport Carbon Accreditation has enjoyed the patronage of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL). At the COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris (December 2015), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and ACI also signed a partnership to further promote climate action by airports through the programme. ACI is supporting the UNFCCC ''Climate Neutral Now'' campaign.
The programme champions the voluntary and collective public environmental engagement by ACI member airports worldwide to guide and support airport environmental management through a process of continual improvement and collaborative partnership. For this reason, it has also attracted a lot of support from key institutions in air transport and environment.
Airport Carbon Accreditation is a highly significant initiative by airports for meaningful and measurable action in addressing their greenhouse gas emissions. I commend ACI for its success with the programme in Europe and for extending it to the Asia-Pacific region, in line with ICAO’s global strategy for dealing with climate change.
Mobility is a vital part of our modern, globalised, hyperconnected world and reducing its carbon footprint is something we can all support. With substantial CO2 reductions achieved already, Airport Carbon Accreditation is a fine example of industry-led action that is helping move aviation onto a more sustainable footing.
It is reassuring to see an industry as visible and strategically relevant as the airport industry proactively addressing its carbon emissions. By allowing airports to work their way through 4 levels of certification, Airport Carbon Accreditation bridges their individual efforts and their collective achievement as an industry. With airports playing host to so many other companies, the past 6 years have shown that the programme is also having a halo effect on them, as airlines, air traffic controllers, retailers, passengers and surface transport also get involved to lower their CO2 emissions on the airport site. I congratulate ACI on the momentum they have achieved with this - bringing an industry-led climate change initiative which began here in Europe all the way to becoming the global standard.
COP21 was about engaging governments at the highest level, but effective climate action must also be significantly supported by a progressive private sector - sustainability is everyone's responsibility. What Airport Carbon Accreditation has achieved over the past seven years is both surprising and inspiring. By charting a clear path, airport operators are acting across a range of measures, from mapping their CO2 emissions, reducing them and engaging others, up to becoming carbon neutral too - there is much that other industries can learn from this and even emulate.
I applaud ACI EUROPE for having set up Airport Carbon Accreditation, an initiative that demonstrates commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of airports and eventually to become carbon neutral. The programme reflects the different steps required to reduce emissions and provides a tool for airports both to manage their emissions and to communicate about improvements.