The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for a reduction of 50% in global aviation emission levels by 2050 compared with 2005 levels.

In a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, IATA also called for improved fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% a year to 2020 and stabilised carbon emissions from then with carbon-neutral growth.

Reiterating the need for a global a sector-wide approach to aviation and climate change, IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said that these goals clearly show that the aviation industry is even ahead of its regulators in its approach to climate change.

The aviation industry is working towards the goals through a four-pillar strategy, which has already saved more than 70 million tons of CO2 since 2004.

The strategy focuses on investing in new technology, flying smarter, building efficient infrastructure and positive economic measures.

Bisignani highlighted the potential of sustainable biofuels, which are expected to receive certification by 2011 and can reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by 80%.