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African airports align with the Paris Agreement objective, with Félix-Houphouët-Boigny and Enfidha-Hammamet International Airports leading the way

June 18, 2024

Committed, collaborative, strategic, and innovative – just a few words that describe the decarbonisation efforts in the African region in recent years. African airports are making significant strides in carbon management, showcasing a firm commitment to the global ambition of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Despite being the continent that contributes the least to global carbon emissions, Africa has embraced the Airport Carbon Accreditation framework with enthusiasm and determination.

Currently, the African region boasts 32 accredited airports. These include 8 at Level 1 Mapping, 18 at Level 2 Reduction, 3 at Level 3 Optimisation, 1 at Level 3+ Neutrality, 1 at Level 4 Transformation, and 1 at Level 4+ Transition.

Leading the charge, Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has set a new benchmark by successfully upgrading to Level 4+ Transition within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. It is the first airport in Africa to achieve this advanced level of carbon management. The airport has implemented several innovative measures to reduce its carbon footprint, including regulating lighting and air conditioning systems in the international terminal, renovating apron lighting, and upgrading key facilities and infrastructure such as the runway and passenger terminal. One of its most groundbreaking projects is a collaboration with Soil.is on mangrove restoration, using digital technology to enhance soil carbon sequestration, tailored to the local environment and community needs.

Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Similarly, Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport in Tunisia has also made a notable advancement by upgrading to Level 4 Transformation. This airport made history in 2013 as the first African airport to be accredited by Airport Carbon Accreditation and has been a leader in carbon management ever since. The airport has conducted a comprehensive assessment of its carbon footprint, covering direct and indirect emissions across all scopes (Scope 1, 2, and 3). It has set ambitious yet realistic carbon reduction targets aligned with scientific recommendations and industry best practices. To achieve these targets, Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport has implemented green energy initiatives, such as upgrading to a 4MWh trigeneration power plant. This plant meets the airport’s cooling needs free of charge, supplies its electricity requirements, and provides excess power to the national grid. Plans are also underway to invest in a 2MWh renewable power plant by 2026/2027.

Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport in Tunisia

ACI Africa has played a crucial role in combating climate change, especially through the African Airports Development Program (AADP). By providing high-quality and affordable training programmes and assistance to African airports, ACI Africa supports the continent’s airports in joining the ranks of those accredited by the Airport Carbon Accreditation. This support is vital in advancing the region’s efforts in carbon management.

Furthermore, ACI Africa and ENVISA have launched the Sustainable Aviation Academy (SAA), a pioneering online platform designed to empower airport environmental specialists across Africa. This initiative aims to provide the knowledge and tools essential for managing airport carbon emissions effectively. The SAA offers a unique opportunity for environmental specialists to explore how to navigate the complexities of sustainability within the aviation sector and delve deep into the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and the requirements of each level.

The achievements of Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport and Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport exemplify the significant progress being made in Africa. These airports are setting the standard for environmental sustainability and showcasing the continent’s potential to lead in the global aviation sector’s decarbonisation efforts.

For more information on the efforts of African airports and their contributions to carbon management, visit the Airport Carbon Accreditation website.