Press Releases

ACI World welcomes airport industry climate action amid COVID-19

February 5, 2021

334 airports globally actively addressing their carbon emissions in the programme

Montreal, 5 February 2021 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has today welcomed the new Airport Carbon Accreditation Interim Report 2019-2020 which reveals the latest results of and developments in the global carbon standard for airports.

The Report reveals robust participation growth across all regions, illustrating the extent of airport industry’s readiness to decarbonise even in the toughest of conditions.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, 34 airports have become accredited for the first time and another 31 have progressed to a higher level of the programme. This trend is set to continue in 2021, driven by the enduring leadership of airports in CO2 management and reduction.

As the financial situation of airports across the world deteriorates rapidly, however, the necessary investments to cut carbon are weighed against survival. This will be a factor of concern for further decarbonisation in the sector and should be considered as one of the grounds for urgent government aid.

“Even as the impacts and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated passenger traffic and revenue at airports across the world, it is very heartening to see airports continue their commitment to decarbonization,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “The industry is further demonstrating that efforts to address the climate emergency cannot wait for the pandemic to end and I commend the 334 airports actively addressing their carbon emissions in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.”

The Report explores one of last year’s main developments, aligning airport climate action with the ambition of the Paris Agreement. The introduction of two new accreditation levels – Level 4 Transformation and Level 4+ Transition has been documented through in-depth testimonies from the three trailblazing airports who already achieved these levels: Dallas Fort Worth International, Indira Gandhi International and Christchurch International.

To further outline the rationale behind the new levels and the stepped up ambition of the programme, ACI has today released a brand new animation.

The programme’s expanded framework providing airports with the tools and knowledge to pursue carbon reductions in line with the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement, following the pathways laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has been applauded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Notes for editors

  1. The report is released as an Interim Report because two programme reporting years have been merged, to support airports in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. This means that airports only need to renew their accreditations once between May 2019 and May 2021. Therefore, the programme cannot present full results for this reporting period yet.

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 6 levels of certification: ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’, ‘Neutrality’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Transition’.

Through its 6 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-focused airports.

  1. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  2. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, customer-centric and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2021, ACI serves 701 members, operating 1933 airports in 183 countries.

Media contacts

Anita Berthier
Director, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254