At the UN climate talks today in New York, an agreement between airlines, airports and aircraft companies to slash emissions by 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 will be presented. If the UN accepts the proposal, it will be added to the Copenhagen agenda.
This would be significant because not only is the aviation industry responsible for two percent of yearly global emissions, but those emissions weren't part of the Kyoto Protocol. Adding a commitment like this to whatever agreement comes out of Copenhagen will mean a substantial improvement over Kyoto.
The International Air Travel Association is also promising that all industry growth will be carbon neutral by 2020.
The one downside of this pledge by the aviation industry is that it will undoubtedly raise fares for travelers, at least initially, while new technologies are being developed.