September 22, 2009

Airlines Vow To Cut Emissions By 50 Percent

The airline industry is set to vow to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050.

On Tuesday, British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh is to announce the new decision reached by the airline industry that will aim for a 50 percent reduction of emissions by mid century.

The announcement will come during a presentation to the UN forum on climate change in New York on Tuesday.

Aviation currently makes up 1.6 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Guardian reported that the industry's new commitment would result in an increase in fare prices for all passengers.

Walsh reported that the new proposal would amount to an increase of about three billion pounds ($4.8 billion).

Additionally, the International Air Transport Association has pledged to make all industry growth carbon-neutral by 2020, cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 percent each year over the next decade, and submit plans for becoming part of a global carbon trading scheme to the UN by November 2010, the newspaper reported.

"Mechanisms designed for ground-based polluters will not work effectively for aviation which can emit CO2 across borders and over the high seas even on a single flight. And already uncoordinated national and regional schemes are creating a patchwork of punitive taxes that fill government coffers, but do little or nothing to effectively manage aviation's emissions," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO.

"Our proposals represent the most environmentally effective and practical means of reducing aviation's carbon impact. They are the best option for the planet and we urge the UN to adopt them," Walsh will tell world leaders on Tuesday.

If the pledge is accepted by the UN, they will become part of the agreement in Copenhagen in December.


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