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Tourism Leader Gets Firm On Climate Change

The world has a historic opportunity to make real progress on curbing aviation’s carbon emissions, Willie Walsh told a United Nations forum on climate change in New York on Tuesday (Sep 22).

BA’s CEO says carbon emissions need to be reduced
by 50 per cent by 2050

The British Airways CEO called on world leaders to support an unprecedented agreement between airlines, aircraft manufacturers, airports and air navigation providers which sets a target of reducing the industry’s net carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

“The forthcoming Copenhagen summit represents a historic opportunity for aviation to join the mainstream of the world’s efforts to combat climate change,” Walsh said.

“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,” he said.

Along with senior executives from Qatar Airways, SAS and the International Air Transport Association, Walsh was taking part in the UN Leadership Forum on Climate Change at the UN headquarters in New York.

The event, part of the preparations for the Copenhagen summit in December, was attended by nearly 250 heads of government, environmentalists and business leaders from around the world.

“The global air industry has worked very hard to agree this common plan of action, which would give the UN full control over monitoring and regulating aviation emissions worldwide,” Walsh said.

“This would enable aviation to play its full part in the global effort that will be decided at Copenhagen to stem greenhouse gases across all economic sectors,” he said.