Airlines in pledge to cut CO2 emissions

Airlines have pledged to slash their CO2 emissions in half by 2050 in a move that will force up air fares.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh will unveil the plan at the UN Forum on climate change today ahead of the global warming summit in Copenhagen in December.

It is feared fares will have to rise as a result by as much as E40 on a long-haul return flight and E9 on short haul flights.

Walsh will say: “Our proposals represent the most environmentally effective means of reducing aviation’s carbon impact.

“They are the best option for the planet and we urge the UN to adopt them.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The move is seen as a pre-emptive strike against the green lobby which has been clamouring for airlines to slash their emissions despite the sector contributing to just 1.6% of global CO2 emissions annually.

The 50% reduction on 2005 emission levels goes far beyond the UK government’s target of keeping emissions at 2005 levels.

The proposals, which were agreed between airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers and agreed by industry body IATA, also include: a pledge to make all industry growth carbon neutral by 2020; to cut CO2 emissions by 1.5% per year over the next 10 years; and submit plans for joining a global carbon trading scheme to the UN by November next year.

Walsh will also say: “International aviation emissions were not included in the Kyoto protocol 12 years ago.

“Now we have a chance to rectify that omission, and we must seize it.

“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.”

By leaving the EU trading emissions scheme and joining the global market it could add £3 billion a year to industry costs, forcing up ticket prices.

It’s an extra burden airlines could well do without: last week [url=http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/airlines-to-post-record-breaking-losses/IATA predicted that the industry would lose $11 billion this year alone[/url].