easyJet has called for mandatory emission standards to ensure a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from the next generation of aircraft.
The budget airline claims the greener aircraft would be much more beneficial than continuing to tax the industry.
The call comes after a pledge in September by airlines to cut their CO2 emissions in half by 2050.
And it comes ahead of the Climate Change Summit which takes place in Copenhagen on December 7.
Andy Harrison, chief executive of easyJet, said:
“Aviation needs a global solution. Government’s first instinct is to tax, but this won’t deliver sustainable aviation as the industry’s growth is concentrated in China and India.
“Step change technology is in the pipeline, and we need tough legislation on emission standards for it to be delivered sooner.
“Wartime has led to the biggest leaps in aviation technology. Governments must ensure that the war on climate change delivers the next big leap in technology.
“We demand legislation for cleaner aircraft to stop the industry flying old, inefficient aircraft.
“If we get cleaner aircraft and ground the old smokers we can reduce the industry’s overall emissions and tackle climate change head on.”
Under easyJet’s proposals, the solution would be introduced in three phases:
By 2015 every new aircraft type would have to meet the global emission standard.
By 2024 airlines could not add to their fleet any new aircraft that did not meet the standard.
And by 2030 airlines could not operate aircraft that did not meet the standard.
The proposal would see the International Civil Aviation Organisation would draw up the guidelines and enforce them.