UK airports are committed to net zero and sign “Toulouse Declaration” on decarbonisation

Today, the Airport Operators Association has signed the “Toulouse Declaration” on Europe-wide aviation decarbonisation on behalf of UK airports alongside European governments as well as UK and European airports, airlines and other aviation and aerospace associations and companies.

UK aviation, including airports, were the first national aviation sector in the world to commit to net zero by 2050 in February 2020. Today’s declaration reaffirms UK airports leading role in the global effort to decarbonise aviation and comes ahead of the ICAO General Assembly later this year, where we look to governments to set a global goal for aviation decarbonisation.

Airports have long been first movers in the challenge of decarbonising aviation. Ahead of COP26, AOA research showed that UK airports had more than halved their emissions between 2010 and 2019.

With 22 UK airports now certified under Airport Council International’s Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme, and close to 400 airports globally, airports’ work to reaching net-zero carbon emissions for operations under their control by 2050 continues to make real progress.

The Sustainable Aviation Decarbonisation Road-Map sets out how UK aviation will achieve our net-zero goal, and the AOA Decarbonisation Report set out the role UK airports play in this collective effort, in addition to airports’ own road-maps and plans on how they will achieve net zero for their operations.

Commenting, Airport Operators Association Chief Executive Karen Dee said:

“Despite the devastating impact the pandemic has had on UK airports’ finances, airport leaders remain committed to our net-zero emissions by 2050 target.

“As we recover from the pandemic, there is a real opportunity to build back better and return to 2019 passenger levels while reducing environmental impacts.

“Government and industry need to work together to achieve this, with the recent government funding for the next stage of airspace modernisation a step in the right direction. The UK Government should use its planned Aviation Strategic Framework to outline how they will further support industry’s efforts.

“The AOA has set out that this should include a Green Airports Fund to help fund sustainability initiatives while airports’ finances recover from the significant losses of the last two years.”

Commenting further, Director General of European airports trade association ACI EUROPE Olivier Jankovec said:

“Each and every airport undersigning this Declaration is making a tangible difference to our future as an industry, as an economy and as a society. They continue to demonstrate ambition, vision and excellence in their sustainable actions. I admire and applaud each and every one of them.”