The travel and tourism industry leads the way towards a more sustainable future

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The travel and tourism industry leads the way towards a more sustainable future
Source: WTTC
October 12, 2022

WTTC welcomes agreement on collective long-term aspirational goal


Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said: “This is a historic agreement and we are delighted that the countries have chosen a common path towards a net-zero carbon emissions target for aviation.

"Together with WTTC's Net Zero Roadmap, the global travel and tourism industry is now leading the way in ensuring a more sustainable future."

It is worth remembering that in November last year the WTTC, which represents the global private travel and tourism sector, developed the roadmap in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Framework Convention Nations 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 sectors, 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: “I am delighted to announce our pioneering Net Zero roadmap for travel and tourism. It helps the travel industries achieve individual goals to reduce our carbon footprint."

“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."

“It is absolutely critical that the public and private sectors work together to achieve the Paris Agreement and prevent the global rise in temperatures."

“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.”

Emily Weiss, Managing Director and Head of Accenture's Global Travel Industry Group, said: "As the travel industry restarts after a difficult few years, there is an incredible opportunity to responsibly rebuild and accelerate growth. shift towards a net-zero emissions future for the sector.

“The Net Zero Roadmap offers a pragmatic yet ambitious course of action that will help the industry create real and visible targets to reduce its carbon footprint, while providing the transparency that consumers demand. Crucially, it identifies the big levers where travel can reduce emissions and provides the building blocks to create meaningful 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 targets are set and different approaches to decarbonization are followed.

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. .

Recognizing that different industries face different challenges to decarbonise, the roadmap urges companies to increase their ambitions where possible and provides detailed recommendations for five areas:

Set emission baselines and targets now to achieve individual and sector goals
Monitor and report progress regularly
Collaborate within and across industries and government
Provide the necessary funding and investment for the transition.
Raise awareness and generate knowledge and skills on climate change.

This roadmap calls on world leaders to provide Travel & Tourism with the same level of support offered to other sectors and provides recommendations to governments on how they can support the sector, which before the pandemic accounted for 10 .4% of world GDP (US$9.2 trillion). to address climate challenges and its goals to achieve a net zero future.

The collaborative process included key organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Travalyst and SHA (Sustainable Hospitality Alliance), among others.

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