Tourism sector to halve carbon emissions by 2030


More than 300 companies commit to reducing emissions in the tourism sector

During the COP26 summit, a tourism sector declaration has been signed by more than 300 companies and institutions committing to transforming their operations so that their emissions have been cut in half by 2030, and they are carbon neutral by 2050. The companies include The Marbella promotion body, the Bilbao Bureau convention, and the Iberostar group. 

“We have known for a long time that our dependence on fossil fuels, unsustainable land use and excessive consumption patterns are at the root of climate change, pollution and loss of diversity,” the statement says. Further adding: “covid-19 has increased our awareness of the connection between these impacts and their human risks.” 

The World Tourism Organisation is the group promoting the document, which states that according to the latest measurements, CO2 emissions caused by the sector grew by 60% between 2005 and 2016. Without correction, they say, greenhouse gases could increase by 25% or more in 2030, compared to the records of the previous fourteen years. 

Now they are aware of these figures, companies and institutions are planning to undertake an action plan within the next 12 months and put it into practice. There will be impact measurement, decarbonisation, restoration and protection of the ecosystems in which they operate. There will also be sufficient funding for these ideas and they plan to collaborate with their customers on the schemes. 

There will be transparent annual reports on the progress being made. The Secretary General of the UNWTO, Zurab Poloikashvili, already advanced in the recent tourism fair in London that “the return to the old normality is not possible”, because “the climate emergency is greater than the threat of covid”.

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Written by

Claire Gordon