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London City Airport commits to zero emissions by 2050

Posted 27 June 2019 · Add Comment

As part of an industry-wide announcement made yesterday morning at the 29th ACI EUROPE Annual Congress & General Assembly in Cyprus, London City Airport has confirmed that it will commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Yesterday morning at the 29th ACI EUROPE Annual Congress & General Assembly* in Cyprus, the airport trade body ACI EUROPE unveiled a Resolution formally committing the European airport industry to become net zero for carbon emissions under its control by 2050, at the latest.

This commitment, which is consistent with the UK Government’s recent announcement, is central to London City Airport’s plans to help tackle the climate challenge and operate sustainably.

Demonstrating its support for this commitment, London City can also announce that it has entered into a new green power deal with UK Power Networks Services as part of its £500m airport transformation programme.

Reducing its own emissions and working with its airlines to do the same has been a key priority for London City Airport for many years. Through activities including installation of LED lights on the runway and in the terminal building, and the upgrade of energy efficient boilers, the airport has achieved a 28% reduction in its carbon emissions per passenger since 2013, despite passenger growth of 42% over that period.

The airport has also committed to become carbon neutral by 2020 under the globally recognised ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme. A number of the airport’s major airlines have also recently announced plans to re-fleet to cleaner, quieter new generation aircraft.

Now, as part of the City Airport Development Programme (CADP), the airport will start producing its own green power through a partnership with UK Power Networks Services (UKPNS). Within the next three years the airport will install its own microgrid, utilising an innovative combination of solar panels and smart automation software.

Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer of London City Airport, said: “I am delighted to announce this incredibly important commitment today and undersign this major initiative from ACI Europe. Our industry, from global hubs to regional airports, has a long and proud history of innovating to provide better, safer and a more sustainable service for our passengers.

“This commitment is not only the right thing to do for London City Airport, but more importantly it’s the right thing for our environment and our communities. And what we are doing with UK Power Networks Services as part of our current development programme, demonstrates how we are putting sustainable practices at the heart of our decision making. We look forward to working with partners and thought leaders in this space as our ambition is to achieve and exceed industry standards on carbon emissions.”

By installing approximately 900 sqm of solar panels, the airport will create its own local energy source, producing approximately 140,000 KWh of energy per year, which is equivalent to energy usage of 37 London homes. This green energy supply covers nearly 6% of the future annual terminal energy usage and will achieve a carbon reduction of 307 tonnes CO2 per year.

London City Airport’s wider energy strategy covers additional areas such as ensuring greener and cleaner vehicles operate at the airport. The airport will ensure that all vehicles and equipment used by staff at the airport will be electric by 2030.

In addition, the airport has an excellent track record of supporting both staff and passenger travel to and from the airport by sustainable modes. Currently nearly 70%
of passengers use public transport to get to the airport, which is the highest proportion of any UK airport. In the decade ahead, the airport aims to improve on
this best in industry position by building 300 fast chargers for electric vehicles, integrating into the Royal Docks cycle network and encouraging initiatives like the
recent introduction of a lift-share service so staff can actively travel sustainably to and from the site.

 London City Airport is undergoing a £500 million development programme that will transform the airport the customer experience, and provide capacity to
accommodate the increase in demand to use London’s most central airport. The transformation includes a new passenger terminal extension, eight aircraft stands
and a parallel taxiway. The airport is also introducing a digital air traffic control tower in early 2020, which will be a global first for an airport of this size.

On 26th June at ACI Europe’s Annual Congress around 194 airports, operated by 40 airport operators across 24 countries signed a resolution formally committing the
industry to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and work to accelerate the decarbonisation of aviation as a whole. This marks a significant step change in the
climate action ambitions for the airport industry.

Dr Michael Kerkloh, President of ACI EUROPE and CEO of Munich Airport commented: “Europe’s airports have been leading climate action with annual reductions announced every year for the past decade². 43 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.

“Europe’s airports have already started delivering, and I am confident that many will reach net zero before 2050. 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 Stockholm-Arlanda by 2020 along with Hamburg airport by 2022 - while Amsterdam-Schiphol, Eindhoven and Copenhagen airports have set this goal for 2030.”

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change said: “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.”

The World Resources Institute (WRI) Greenhouse Gas Protocol constitutes the best practice guidance on how organisations can calculate and report the climate
change impacts associated with their activity. It is used as technical foundation of Airport Accreditation and classifies emissions into three broad scopes:
• Scope 1: emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by a
• Scope 2: emissions arising from the generation of energy purchased
and consumed by a company;
• Scope 3: indirect emissions arising from the up and down-stream
activities of a company’s value chain.

The net zero commitment covers scope 1 and 2 emissions of airport operators. These emissions relate to the operation of airport terminals, buildings, equipment, landside and airside activities, including vehicles owned by the airport operators.


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