I’ve just read that Willie Walsh, CEO at British Airways, is due to announce a pledge by airlines, airports and airplane manufacturers to cut carbon emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. I know that BA hasn’t had the best press over the past couple of years but I’ve been really impressed by Willie Walsh’s efforts to lobby for proactive measures to tackle climate change in the airline industry.

In anticipation of the announcement Willie Walsh declared: “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”. Walsh will be joined by senior executives from Qatar Airways, SAS and IATA to unveil the plans at the UN climate summit in New York today.

Also included in these plans are proposals to make all industry growth carbon-neutral by 2020, to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5% each year over the next decade and to submit plans for joining a global carbon trading scheme to the UN by November 2010.

The plans are welcome news with analysts predicting that global aviation emissions could account for 15-20 percent of all CO2 produced in 2050, if left unchecked.

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