Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe has called for DAA CEO Kenny Jacobs to explain his recent suggestion that retaining the current cap on passenger numbers at Dublin Airport would ‘hurt’ the airport’s sustainability ambitions. The comment was made by Mr Jacobs during a recent interview with RTÉ. MEP Cuffe observed in a letter that, by advocating for increasing the passenger cap, the DAA is effectively offering its green light for aviation emissions to increase. He also emphasised that while Dublin Airport is not ultimately responsible for the emissions produced by airlines, it plays a key facilitating role.
MEP Cuffe said:
“It is at best irresponsible to advocate for increasing the passenger cap, and to claim that retaining the current cap will ‘hurt’ the airport’s sustainability ambitions. At worst, it represents a cynical attempt to obfuscate the real power that the DAA holds over the level of emissions produced by flights arriving and departing from Dublin Airport, effectively washing your hands of this important responsibility.
“This is without even mentioning what such a move would mean for air pollution and aircraft noise, and for the associated responsibility of the DAA to operate within the limits of its planning permissions and show the utmost respect to the lived experience of local residents.”
MEP Cuffe also further outlined the warming impact of aviation:
“...aviation is currently responsible for nearly 4% of the EU’s CO2 emissions and the global warming potential of aviation is not limited to CO2 emissions alone. The warming effect of aviation is up to three times higher when other emissions from flying are considered. Even with the impact of sustainable aviation fuels, more flights will increase emissions in the short- to medium-term.”
Ciarán Cuffe is a top-ranking Green MEP on the European Parliament’s transport committee (TRAN). In 2023, he co-negotiated a new law that will boost the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) in Europe. In the first international agreement of its kind, most planes flying in the EU will be subject to minimum levels of SAF usage from 2025. These targets begin with 2% SAF use from 2025, and rise to 6% by 2030, 20% by 2035 and 70% by 2050 (as a percentage of total fuel used).