UNFCCC and ACI join forces to promote carbon neutral and sustainable airports

December 8, 2015

Paris, France:


As the global
climate negotiations continue, the airport industry trade association Airports
Council International (ACI) and the carbon standard Airport Carbon
signed a partnership with the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at a special side event at COP21
yesterday, 7 December 2015.

The partnership agreement commits ACI to supporting the UNFCCC’s
‘Climate Neutral Now’ campaign, while the UNFCCC will support airport climate
action at airports, with a particular focus on carbon management by airports
through Airport Carbon Accreditation.*

The organisations also agree to develop a common work programme and
communications plan promoting carbon neutrality at airports. This will see the
UNFCCC supporting Airport Carbon Accreditation and associated climate
actions by airports. The agreement aims to increase the number of airports
progressing to Level 3 (optimisation) and Level 3+ (carbon neutrality) of the
programme. The UNFCCC will join the independent Advisory Board
¹ of Airport Carbon Accreditation,
thereby providing valuable input into the strategy and future orientation of
the programme.

In the past twelve months, Airport Carbon Accredited status has
been earned by a total of 137 airports worldwide, representing 31% of
global passenger traffic
. There are currently 20 carbon neutral airports –
all of which are in Europe. This new partnership with the UNFCCC follows a
commitment by the European airport industry last week at COP21 to increase
the number of carbon neutral airports to 50 by 2030

Angela Gittens, Director General ACI WORLD and Olivier
Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE
commented “This is a very big
moment for ACI and Airport Carbon Accreditation. To gain the support of an
organisation as authoritative as the UNFCCC is something we consider a major
achievement and a genuine recognition of the contribution of the airport
industry to the climate action through Airport Carbon Accreditation
. We are delighted to be partnering with UNFCCC and look forward to
their input in the Advisory Board of the programme.”

John Kilani, Director,
Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme, UNFCCC secretariat
“It is immensely encouraging to see an industry as visible and strategically
relevant as the airport industry being so proactive on climate action. What ACI
has achieved through Airport Carbon Accreditation over the past 6 years is
inspiring – to mobilise 137 airports in the journey towards carbon neutrality
is an example that many other industries could learn from. We count on their
support for our Climate Neutral Now campaign and look forward to working with
them through this new partnership.”

To find out more about the Airport Carbon Accreditation
programme, including the key results for Year 6 (June 2014 to May 2015), visit
the interactive microsite:




IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has estimated that aviation’s
CO2 emissions
account for 2% of global emissions’ impact on climate change. Of that figure,
airports’ own operations only account for up to 5%, but airports are keen to
tackle their greenhouse gas emissions – several individual airports operators
having already committed to becoming carbon neutral in the past few years with
some having already achieved this.


2007, the global airport industry committed to reduce its carbon emissions, in
a special resolution passed at the
WORLD Annual Congress & Assembly


* Airport Carbon Accreditation certifies airports at 4
different levels of accreditation
(Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation
and Neutrality).
is independently
administered by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and institutionally-endorsed and has already
won praise from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the
United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Commission (EC).


developed and launched by
ACI Europe in
June 2009, Airport Carbon Accreditation was extended to airports in
Asia-Pacific, in November 2011 (in partnership with
) and
to African airports in June 2013, (in partnership with
) and North American airports in September 2014 (in
partnership with
ACI-NA) and
Latin American & Caribbean airports (in partnership with
November 2014.


programme is overseen by an independent Advisory Board including
representatives from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), UNEP
(United Nations Environmental Programme), the European Commission, the US
Federal Aviation Authority, ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference),
EUROCONTROL and Manchester Metropolitan University.