API magazine
October 1, 2020
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On the occasion of the UN Global Climate Action Summit which took place in New York 23 September 2019, the trade association for Europe’s airports, ACI EUROPE provided an update on the industry’s response to the Climate Emergency. In June of this year, ACI EUROPE announced a landmark resolution committing its 500 members to reach net zero by 2050 for the carbon emissions under their control. As of today, that commitment has been undersigned by over 200 airports.

This commitment came alongside a call for the entire aviation sector to develop along-term joint ambition & vision towards a net zero carbon emissions air transport system. This is needed to supplement the significant efforts already being made by the aviation sector under ICAO’s Basket of Measures, including CORSIA.

The difference between NetZero2050 and carbon neutral, is that airport operators will not have the possibility to purchase offset credits to reach net zero status.


Airports firmly committed to action

The NetZero2050 pledge is further backed up so far by 203 airports run by more than 47 airport operators across 42 European countries - with each of them individually committing to the same objective. This marks another step change in the climate action of the airport industry. The 203 airports that have undersigned the industry commitment welcomed 64.3% of European air passenger traffic through their doors last year.

To view a full list of the airport companies and the airports they operate, go to

Based on Europe’s airports current traffic volumes (2.34 billion passengers welcomed in 2018) and estimated carbon footprint, this net zero commitment will eliminate a total of 3.46 million tons of annual CO2 emissions as of 2050.

The NetZero2050 commitment is an integral part of the ACI EUROPE’s comprehensive Sustainability Strategy for Airports³. The strategy addresses a wide range of environmental but also social and economic issues. In this way, it equips European airports with an industry-wide framework and guidance, enabling them to embed sustainability at the core of their business strategy.

There are already 3 net zero airports in Europe: Luleå, Ronneby and Visby- operated by the Swedish airport operator, Swedavia. Swedavia aims to achieve net zero emissions for all its airports including the Stockholm-Arlanda hub by 2020. Hamburg airport has set this goal for 2022 - while Amsterdam-Schiphol, Eindhoven and Copenhagen airports and the Norwegian airport operator Avinor have set it for 2030.

For more information on ACI EUROPE’s Sustainability Strategy for Airports, view here:


Europe’s airports applaud IAG’s Net Zero CO2 commitment

Reacting to IAG’s Net Zero CO2 commitment, Europe’s airports applauded the move and offered their support to help the group reaching that long-term goal. They also reiterated their call for Europe to adopt policies that effectively facilitate and enable the decarbonization of aviation at large.


About ACI:

ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 45 European countries. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe: 2.3 billion passengers, 21.2million tons of freight and 25.7 million aircraft movements in2018


Reference list :
ACI EUROPE, – Net Zero CO2 emissions article, 23 September 2019, and ‘Europe’s airports applaud IAG’s Net Zero CO2 commitment’ article, 10 October 2019.