Airports relying on offsets excluded under EU law

Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) is a CO2 emissions reduction programme for airports managed by industry association Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe). It encourages airports to monitor and either reduce or offset their emissions. Our analysis finds that, while encouraging emission reductions and aiming towards carbon neutrality at airports in Europe is important and welcome, the ACA lacks transparency and the strict rules that are required to ensure offsets credits used actually deliver emission reductions. In many cases, airports are using offset credits which are ineligible under EU climate laws due to concerns as to their environmental integrity.

Given these environmental concerns about the scheme, and the rapid overall growth of aircraft emissions, the ACA should not be used as a justification to further expand aviation capacity. This should also serve as a warning to the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and its parties as they adopt implementing rules for its global offsetting scheme known as CORSIA.