Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday announced that it would become a “net zero carbon emission airport” by the year 2030, well ahead of the 2050 deadline set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the airport operator, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has announced.
The announcement was part of a video that was displayed by the Airport Council International (ACI) during the COP-26, the United Nations summit on climate change held recently in Glasgow, UK.
Net-zero emissions mean that all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, are removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures to tackle global warming.
While the airport is already utilising renewable energy programmes such as solar rooftop panels, it has also developed green infrastructure and multiple passenger connectivity networks. The airport also has a water and waste treatment plant, along with energy efficient lighting systems, the DIAL chief operating officer Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said.
To add to these measures, the airport operator recently adopted electric vehicles and a TaxiBot, which is a semi-automatic robot that helps in taxiing an aircraft, without the aircraft having to be turned on, thereby reducing carbon emissions. TaxiBot was introduced in 2019, making Delhi airport the first one in the country to do so.
The airport said TaxiBot has resulted in a significant reduction in turbine fuel consumption for ground movement. “At Delhi airport, we are on a strong environment progress journey and we are confident of becoming a “net zero carbon emission” airport by 2030, in line with the airport carbon accreditation guidelines. Towards this direction, we have initiated various environmentally sustainable programmes, such as the introduction of TaxiBot and the adoption of electric vehicles,” Jaipuriar said, adding that the airport achieved a level 4+ accreditation last year after getting a “carbon neutral” status in 2016.
Carbon neutral refers to a policy of not increasing carbon emissions and of achieving carbon reduction through offsets. “We will continue to develop and be the best in class infrastructure and provide services using innovative and sustainable technologies.” the DIAL CEO said.
India is currently the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the United States and China. Speaking at the COP26 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the country would make a one billion-tonne reduction in projected emissions from now until 2030. Modi also said India’s emissions intensity, or emissions per unit GDP, will be reduced by at least 45% by 2030 from the 2005 levels.