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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
24 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Huawei sanctions snarled chip supply chains

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The largely successful U.S. effort to hobble China's Huawei has benefitted a host of other tech companies — from smartphone makers such as Apple and Xiaomi to chipmakers like Qualcomm to network vendors including Nokia and Ericsson.

Yes, but: The massive disruption to the industry furthered an industry wide mismatch between supply and demand, exacerbating the global chip shortage.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
44 mins ago - Health

Overturning Roe could strain abortion access even in blue states

The Supreme Court is reflected in a woman's sunglasses during a march Oct. 2. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortions could be harder to access even in states where they remain legal, because those clinics could be flooded with patients from states that have cracked down.

The big picture: This has happened before, and clinics fear the crush of demand would be a major problem in the immediate wake of a decision that would allow states to ban abortion.

A critical race theory founder says he's being inundated with threats

Richard Delgado. Photo: Courtesy of Richard Delgado

Richard Delgado, one of the founders of the critical race theory movement, tells Axios he and his wife have been receiving a steady stream of threatening messages since the coordinated, conservative campaign against critical race theory began.

Why it matters: Educators across the country — even some elementary school teachers — have faced harassment and threats over the past year over lesson plans that teach about system racism in the U.S.