91 European airports vow to be CO2 neutral by 2030

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More than 90 European airports pledged Thursday to be carbon neutral by 2030, two decades earlier than planned by the sector.

More than 90 European airports pledged Thursday to be carbon neutral by 2030, two decades earlier than planned by the sector.

Airports Council International - Europe (ACI), an industry group representing more than 500 airports in 55 countries, proposed in June 2019 that its members be net-zero emitters by 2050.

The ACI said Thursday that 235 airports -- which represented two-thirds of Europe's passenger traffic in 2019 -- had backed the 2050 objective, which coincides with the year the 27-nation EU aims to be "climate neutral".

Another 91 airports -- in Rome, Milan, Amsterdam and Basel-Mulhouse among other places -- "are set to deliver on their Net Zero commitment already by 2030", the ACI said in a statement.

Ten airports operated by Sweden's Swedavia have already become carbon neutral, according to the ACI, while Athens International Airport should reach the target in 2025.

The commitments come as the global aviation industry has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"There is no escape that delivering on these Net Zero targets will be extremely challenging given the financial distress in which Europe's airports find themselves," ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec said in the statement.

Jankovec urged EU and European countries to aid the sector, warning that airports face an "investments crunch" due to limited financial support.

"This needs to be addressed by the EU and European States as a matter of priority - they have to walk the talk on the regulatory and financial side when they speak about greening airports," he said.

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