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Network Meeting on Climate Action at China's Airports

June 2018 - The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expects that by 2020, the Asia-Pacific region will be responsible for 31 percent of carbon emissions in international aviation. China’s aviation sector is seeing rapid growth, upping demand for new aircraft and for new airports. Recognising the need for “greener” airports, the Chinese government has set new energy efficiency and emission reduction targets.

Against this backdrop, the AHK Greater China Beijing invited some 30 business representatives and experts to a network meeting held on 26 June. At the event organised as part of the Climate Markets Cooperation project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), two renowned experts talked about current developments in China and outlined China’s climate action plans for the country’s airports.

Cui Xiaodong, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate Change at the China Environmental United Certification Center (CEC), described the requirements for the Chinese emissions trading scheme (ETS) launched at the end of 2017. China’s ETS will eventually cover eight sectors, including energy generation and aviation. Next, Cui Xiaodong looked at the international Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) initiative which certifies airports in a four-phase process based on the ISO 14064 standard for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals. The Chinese airports current participating in the programme are Beijing, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.

The second presentation, given by Dr. Zhang Wen, Senior Engineer at the China Airport Construction Group Corporation (CACC), focused on current developments in planning and construction of environmentally friendly airports in China. The associated targets contained in China’s five-year plan for civil aviation development contain a waste and wastewater treatment target for new airports of over 90 percent, as well as a range of energy efficiency and emission reduction targets. China has developed a number of standards for green airports over the past five years and these are to apply across the country by 2020.

In the discussions that ensued after the presentations, it became clear that China is in a unique position when it comes to implementing environmental protection measures at its airports. While priority is being placed on building new airports, the country’s existing airports must be refurbished with environmental criteria in mind. Participants at the network meeting also discussed integrating aviation into the Chinese ETS. Exactly how this will be done remains unclear.

Further Information

A detailed report on the networking meeting is contained in the June issue of Econet Monitor, a magazine published by AHK Greater China in Beijing. The article can be downloaded here.   

Note: The publication is available only in German.