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Air travel on climate conference agenda

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The price of air travel is set to rise, if sweeping reform proposed by Britain's Committee on Climate Change (COCC) is adopted by the countries attending the climate change conference in Copenhagen. Delegates are being told that air travel costs must rise as countries meet the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and preventing temperatures from rising. London's Heathrow Airport is the world’s busiest airport, and was set to expand 200 percent by 2050. However, green lobbyists fought vehemently against the level of expansion while the airlines, the airport and the government hit back, insisting that a healthy aviation industry was critical for a thriving economy. After a long wait, the COCC has published its report and concluded that Britain's airline industry could grow by 60 percent by 2050, not the proposed 200 percent. The COCC also said for aviation to continue to grow, other parts of the economy will have to reduce their carbon emissions by 90 percent, which is even more than the government's targets. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent on 1990 levels over the next 40 years, and is urging other countries to follow in the UK’s footsteps and implement similar measures. Air travel prices are set to rise accordingly with each country’s level of commitment made to environmental preservation as a result of carbon reduction schemes and funding for research into new fuel technologies.

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