At the United Nations' Copenhagen climate change meeting in December the European Union is to push for a global market-based instrument for cutting aviation greenhouse gas emissions that would start in 2011.
Following such an agreement in December, the EU would want the International Civil Aviation Organisation to develop the instrument in 2010, in time for an agreement to be reached by UN members that year.
The instrument would then begin operation in 2011, coinciding with the EU's own greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system that starts on 1 January 2012.
"The instrument would coincide with the EU's allowance system that will sell permits and use those funds for research into low carbon technologies," say EU diplomatic sources.
At the 21 October meeting of the EU environment council the member states also agreed an aviation greenhouse gas target of a 10% reduction in emissions below 2005 levels by 2020.
Speaking at the CEAS 2009 European air and space conference in Manchester in the UK, minister for business and regulatory reform Ian Lucas, said that his government's climate change committee was considering how to cut aviation emissions to below 2005 levels by 2050.