UNEP recognizes Cochin International Airport as world’s 1st fully solar powered airport

The United Nations Environment Programme is happy to recognise Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) as the world’s first fully solar energy-powered airport, its global chief Erik Solheim recently said.

“We are very happy to do it,” he said when asked whether UNEP was ready to recognise CIAL as the world’s first solar powered airport.

“I really want to go around the world and speak about the success story (of CIAL),” the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme said.

“If an airport in Kerala can run on solar power, why can’t we do that in terminals in other countries?” he asked.

He hailed the airport, through which more than 10 million people travel each year, for making considerable monetary savings through its solar power plants.

The power plant is accompanied by a solar farm, with vegetables grown below and between solar panels.

Solheim said solar energy reduces pollution and can compete with coal powered power plants in terms of expenses.

The price of solar energy was cheaper, much better for the environment and for mother earth, he said.

The top UN official said the modilities of recognising the achievement of the airport has to be worked out and he would discuss it with airport managing director V J Kurien.

He suggested that a placard be kept at the airport showing the UNEP’s endorsement of CIAL as the world’s first solar-powered airport.

Ahead of his first visit to the state, Solheim had said in a release that Kerala has long been a leader in human development and he was excited to be visiting the state and learning more about environmental innovation.

“Many countries in the world have much to learn from the state’s experiences with the first fully-solar powered airport in the world, a clear example that being environment-friendly is now a conscious business decision for many,” a UNEP release quoting Solheim had said.