LIMASSOL, Cyprus: June 2019. Brussels Airport and 193 other members of Airport Council International Europe have announced a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 without using offsets.
In a statement ACI Europe acknowledges that the concept of Sustainability “has gone beyond a purely environmental focus to include wider social and economic aspects as well”.
Norway’s first female prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland chaired the Brundtland Commission that presented the first UN Report on Sustainable Development back in 1987. A much-quoted definition from the report is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
“Brussels Airport has been committed since 2011 to a major reduction in CO2. Since 2018, Brussels Airport has also been CO2 neutral according to the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme of ACI Europe,” declared Brussels Airport Company CEO Arnaud Feist.
The ACI Europe Sustainability strategy is based on the 17 United Nations sustainability objectives explained Feist: “As a pioneer in outlining a sustainability strategy for our airport, we are part of the core team within ACI Europe, involved in outlining and shaping the goals for the entire sector. Being one of society’s highly important ecosystems, airports have the responsibility not only to limit their environmental impact but also promote positive progress in, for example, mobility, prosperity, sustainable jobs and diversity,” he added.
Munich Airport CEO and president of ACI Europe Michael Kerkloh claimed Europe’s airports have been leading climate action with annual reductions announced every year for the past decade.
“Forty-three of them have actually become carbon neutral, supported by the global industry standard Airport Carbon Accreditation. However, today’s commitment brings a new dimension to this – no offsets. Crucially, with its NetZero2050 commitment, the airport industry is aligning itself with the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the vast majority of EU countries,” he said.
As world leaders convene for the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, 477 investors managing US$34 trillion in assets, have issued a statement calling on governments for “strong policies” by 2020 to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5-degrees Celsius.
“As an investor in global markets, we are exposed to the increasing risks and opportunities that climate change presents to our portfolios, especially in Asia where the physical impacts of extreme weather events will be the harshest and of the greatest cost,” said Seiji Kawazoe, Senior Stewardship Officer for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management. “To enable us to effectively invest in the necessary transition to net-zero carbon economies around the world, we have signed this statement to urge governments to take the actions needed to set us on the course to limiting global warming to 1.5-degrees Celsius.”
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change added: “The IPCC Special Report from last October is unequivocal about the need to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. We need all sectors of society working towards this ultimate goal. It is therefore encouraging to see the airport industry voluntarily raising its ambitions and we look forward to working with this vital sector.”