The owner of British Airways has set a target to cut carbon emissions by 2020.
The International Airlines Group (IAG) aims to reduce emissions from 95.4 grammes of CO2 per passenger kilometre last year to 87.3g in the next four years.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh said airlines and governments should support the UN’s proposed system which is expected to save up to 650 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040.
He added the sector has agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2020.
However, according to Mr Walsh these targets can only be achieved if a global deal to address emissions in the sector is agreed.
He said: “A fair, uniform system will give aviation a clear and direct financial incentive to develop cleaner aircraft, switch to low carbon fuels and introduce more efficient air traffic systems that eradicate unnecessary flying. No other industry has anything like as comprehensive a scheme for reducing its global CO2 footprint.
“A global deal for aviation carbon emissions is the only way we can continue to grow our industry sustainably to meet demand. This is a once in a generation opportunity to develop an effective global scheme. We must grasp the opportunity now.”