NewsMontenegro Airports' decarbonization journey: Toward zero emissions by 2035

Montenegro Airports’ decarbonization journey: Toward zero emissions by 2035

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Airports of Montenegro (ACG) have been accredited for the initial level of a decarbonization program, with plans to achieve zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2035, as per company announcements.

According to ACG, they consistently assess the effectiveness of environmental protection efforts, aligning with international standards and legal regulations to enhance environmental quality and mitigate harmful impacts.

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They emphasized the continuous synchronization of environmental protection plans, activities, and protocols with the international standard ISO 14001:2004, underscoring their commitment to environmental management.

Moreover, ACG’s strategic plan integrates a long-term roadmap for energy transition, aiming to transition to equipment and vehicles with minimal carbon footprints. Plans also include installing renewable energy sources around airports and adapting airside infrastructure to accommodate the dimensions of new aircraft, which are expected to utilize sustainable fuels.

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Regarding the aviation sector, the European Union (EU) has implemented various directives aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. One such initiative is the “Fit to 55” plan, outlining guidelines for activities generating CO2 emissions. Additionally, the EU has introduced the “ReFuelEU Aviation” plan, focusing on sustainable aviation fuels to reduce CO2 emissions in aviation operations. This involves transitioning to fuels that do not emit CO2, such as hydrogen.

ACG has initiated its decarbonization efforts since 2021, aiming to achieve Level 1 certification, which involves defining their carbon footprint. Over the next three years, they aim to attain Level 2 certification, demonstrating a reduction in carbon footprint. Ultimately, within five years, they seek Level 3 accreditation, confirming optimized energy usage, with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, as indicated by Level 3+ “Neutrality” certification.

ACG has also engaged with relevant authorities in Montenegro to explore the application of new technologies and renewable energy sources. They propose the construction of solar power plants and associated infrastructure to generate electricity and hydrogen for aviation activities.

Furthermore, recognizing the challenges associated with hydrogen storage and transportation, ACG suggests leveraging solar and wind energy sources for electricity generation. Several EU airports have already installed large solar panel arrays, producing electricity with a capacity of approximately 150 MW, demonstrating the viability of such initiatives in Montenegro’s geographic region.

In addition to addressing carbon emissions, ACG emphasizes the importance of addressing other environmental impacts associated with aviation operations. These include noise pollution from aircraft operations, which can affect the health and well-being of nearby residents. ACG acknowledges that achieving carbon neutrality in aviation by 2050, as outlined in the Toulouse Declaration, will be a challenging endeavor requiring concerted efforts at both the global and national levels.

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