Sustainability, the urgent challenge of tourism in its recovery
Innovation today allows the sector to implement initiatives to take care of the environment in a much more efficient way
In recent weeks we have witnessed multiple announcements from different governments that are very encouraging for the long-awaited recovery of the tourism industry. The dramatic change on the part around the world regarding COVID-19 related travel restrictions and requirements is evident. Although the demand reports do not yet reflect the impact of these measures, the projections presented in recent days are much more than encouraging. With this scenario, the sector does not lose sight of the fact that there are other equally urgent challenges such as caring for the environment.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the launch of the IATA Recommended Practice CO2 Per Passenger Calculation Methodology. Using verified airline operating data, the IATA Methodology provides the most accurate calculation methodology for the industry to quantify CO2 emissions per passenger for a specific flight.
As travelers, corporate travel managers and travel agents increasingly demand accurate information on CO2 emissions from flights, an accurate and standardized calculation methodology is essential. This is particularly true in the business sector, where such calculations are needed to support voluntary emission reduction targets.
“Airlines have worked together through IATA to develop an accurate and transparent methodology using verified airline operational data. This provides the most accurate CO2 estimate for organizations and individuals to make informed decisions about flying sustainably. This includes decisions on investment in voluntary carbon offsetting or sustainable use of aviation fuel (SAF),” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.
The IATA Methodology takes into account the following factors:
- Guidance on fuel metering, aligned with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
- Clearly defined scope for calculating CO2 emissions in relation to airline flight activities
- Guidance on non-CO2 emissions and radiative forcing index (RFI)
- Weight-based calculation principle: allocation of CO2 emissions per passenger and belly load
- Guidance on the weight of passengers, using the actual and standard weight
- Emissions factor for the conversion of aircraft fuel consumption to CO2, fully aligned with CORSIA
- Cabin class weighting and multipliers to reflect different airline cabin configurations
- Guidance on SAF and carbon offsets as part of CO2 calculation
“The plethora of carbon calculation methodologies with varying results creates confusion and dents consumer confidence. Aviation is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. By creating an accepted industry standard for calculating carbon emissions from aviation, we are putting essential support in place to achieve this goal. The IATA Passenger CO2 Calculation Methodology is the most authoritative tool and is ready for adoption by airlines, travel agents and passengers,” added Walsh.
It is worth remembering that the World Travel and Tourism Council, an organization that represents the private sector at a global level, developed the roadmap in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Accenture.
The roadmap provides concrete guidelines and recommendations to help guide travel and tourism businesses on their journey to net zero.
Providing milestones for meaningful climate action and emissions reductions for different industries within the sector, the roadmap sets out the challenges ahead and how the travel and tourism sector can decarbonize and reach net zero by 2050.
This report shows how the sector is highly affected by climate change as it affects destinations around the world, but like many other industries it is also responsible for approximately 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect (GHG).
The sector therefore has a key role to play in the fight against climate change, which will require increased ambitions and differentiated approaches to decarbonisation, as outlined in the roadmap.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Many destinations are affected by the impacts of climate change with rising sea levels, deforestation and the loss of animal and plant species. Communities that depend on tourism are the first to see the impact and they want to do something about it."
“The travel and tourism industry is seizing this opportunity to be a catalyst for change. We have a responsibility towards our people and the planet.
” “Our sector can be part of the change that is urgently required to mitigate the impacts and adapt to the threats posed by climate change.”
The roadmap presents a new target framework with decarbonization corridors, which groups travel and tourism companies into three groups, based on their emission profiles and the difficulty of reducing their GHG emissions
Certain industries can achieve net zero before 2050 if more ambitious goals are set and different approaches to decarbonization follow.
The detailed roadmap includes key decarbonization levers and corresponding actions for five key travel and tourism industries: accommodation, tour operators, aviation, cruises, and travel intermediaries such as online travel agents (OTAs) and metasearch engines.