by By Hunter R. Slaton | October 21, 2009

Last week, the International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines around the world, presented its climate change strategy and goals to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City. The group has three key environmental targets: improving fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5 percent annually until 2020, stabilizing carbon emissions with carbon-neutral growth starting in 2020 and cutting carbon emissions in half (as compared to 2005 levels) by 2050. The approach by which IATA proposes to accomplish these goals has three primary components: that aviation's carbon emissions be accounted for at a global level, rather than by nation; that the aviation industry should be held fully accountable for its carbon emissions and be required to pay only once for these, and that the industry should be granted access to global carbon markets to offset emissions until technology can provide "the ultimate solution" to the problem.