Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Airports in the U.S. are attempting to reduce emissions by replacing equipment with electric- and solar-powered technology.

Why it matters: Air travel accounts for 2% of global emissions, and cities and public agencies are uniquely positioned to use their relationships with airlines and terminal operators to impact emissions reduction practices at the airports themselves.

What’s happening:

  • Airport operators in New York City, Washington state, Chicago, and Boston are partnering with airlines, including JetBlue and United, and making use of federal funding including a Federal Aviation Administration grant and an EPA grant to deploy electric-powered ground service equipment and charging infrastructure.
  • The major New York City-area airports, JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark, plan to convert to 100% electric shuttle bus fleets in the next year.
  • Airports in Chattanooga and Indianapolis have built solar farms to displace conventional electrical grid supply. JFK is developing solar generation for both on-site consumption and to supply clean energy to surrounding communities.

Between the lines: Despite the federal government pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, 25 states and hundreds of cities have committed to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.

  • The ways that airports adapt to conform to their communities’ greenhouse gas reduction targets will become important parts of the climate action solution.
  • To date, 8 airports have been recognized by the FAA for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including San Francisco, Austin-Bergstrom, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, and Seattle-Tacoma.

What to watch: Achieving carbon neutrality is the next big milestone for airports to reach in reducing emissions.

  • But, but, but: The achievement of carbon neutral status at airports is controversial because it is virtually impossible to attain without the purchase of carbon offsets.
  • The Airport Carbon Accreditation program has awarded just two airports in the U.S, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Diego, with complete neutrality.
  • 16 other U.S. airports, representing 24.4% of all North American air travel, have been recognized as one level under neutrality, including the Port Authority’s 5 airports.

Christine Weydig is the director of environmental and energy programs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,092,855 — Total deaths: 736,254 Total recoveries — 12,350,879Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,094,565 — Total deaths: 163,465 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday evening after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

What's new: The 51-year-old suspect approached a uniformed Secret Service officer on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House, and said he had a weapon, the agency alleged in a statement late Monday. He "ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew the object from his clothing."

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.