The aviation industry and the emissions it produces were never included in the Kyoto Protocol that was established 12 years ago, but today at the New York meeting of the UN, there’s a new proposition that will require the international industry to reduce their carbon footprint. Currently, international aviation contributes 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, and this new agreement is set to rectify the industry’s initial omission from the Protocol.
The agreement which will be presented today, will involve the airlines, airports and aircraft companies working towards a mutual goal of cutting 2005’s emission levels by 50% by 2050. This move is the suggestion of British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh, and if this proposal is accepted at today’s gathering on climate change by the UN, it will be included on the agenda of the next meeting which will take place in Copenhagen in December. In addition to the overall goal of reducing the industry’s carbon emissions, this program will encourage all aviation competitors to reduce their footprint with a little bit of healthy competition. Already, The International Air Transport Association has agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 1.5% per year over the next decade so that the industry is more carbon neutral by 2020.
Since the goal of the current UN talk is to reduce global warming and its threat to developing countries, many in the airline industry are hoping that this will mark the milestone where the effects of the aviation industry will finally be recognized by the Kyoto Protocol to ensure major contributor to today’s carbon emissions and climate change can finally be regulated and curbed.
Image Via: Flickr user Zoagli with a Creative Commons License
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