Birmingham airport has announced its commitment to becoming a net zero carbon airport by 2033, with plans to publish a new Decarbonisation Roadmap with the next year.

Earlier this year the government signed a new law requiring the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and European airport trade association ACI Europe recently made a similar commitment for its members.

But Birmingham airport said that “Recognising that climate change is happening, the airport feels it needs to set an ambitious target ahead of the UK’s target of 2050”, and is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint “further, quicker”.

The airport said that it had already cut its carbon emissions by 33 per cent since 2013, adding that it believed its biggest opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint was via on-site renewable energy generation.

CEO Nick Barton said that the airport would work to revise its existing carbon management plan and develop a new roadmap over the next six to 12 months, allowing it to “set and prioritise genuine carbon reduction objectives rather than carbon off-setting schemes, as we see this as the least favourable option”.

“We don’t have all the answers about how we will hit this target,” said Barton, “but we are confident that through innovation and collaboratively working with industry, government, manufacturers, on-site partners and employees, we can reach our target by 2033.”

Birmingham airport is working with organization Sustainable Aviation, which brings together major UK airlines, airports, manufacturers, air navigation service providers and key business partners. The group will soon publish its fourth Decarbonisation Roadmap, drawing on the latest evidence and expertise from across the industry.

The airport said that it also plans to publish an updated Sustainability Strategy later this month, addressing “key aspects of its environmental and community impacts over the next five years”, including noise, carbon, water, waste, air quality, water, biodiversity and employment.

San Diego airport was recently certified carbon neutral – only the second North American airport to achieve that status.