GENEVA (Reuters) - The world's airlines have agreed to new fuel efficiency and carbon emission targets which go much further than the levels required through regulation, an industry group said on Saturday.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 230 airlines, said that carriers, airports and aerospace firms had pledged to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent a year annually until 2020.
At a meeting in Montreal, they also set a goal of having carbon-neutral growth by 2020 and to record a 50 percent net reduction of carbon emissions in 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
"Airlines have set even more ambitious targets than governments for the longer-term," IATA Director-General Giovanni Bisignani told reporters on a teleconference.
"No other industry has been able to achieve what we have done," he said, describing the cooperation between all players in the sector on the environment question. "We are on the high ground and government must now catch up."
IATA has previously said that biofuels hold great potential to reduce the polluting emissions from planes, and has supported moves to offset fossil fuels burned in air transport.
(Reporting by Laura MacInnis)