Tourism

Al Gore talks travel and business being bold

Tara Harrison

Former US vice-president Al Gore has talked the role of business in climate policy with Intrepid Travel co-founder Darrell Wade at the launch of the climate activist’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel.

Intrepid became carbon neutral in 2010, after Wade undertook training with Gore’s not-for-profit organisation, the Climate Reality Project, in 2006.

Wade described it as an ‘aha moment’ and introduced carbon offsetting policies across the Intrepid Travel Group.

“We spent the next four years mapping out where our carbon emissions were, from a tuk tuk in Thailand to a bus in Kathmandu or wherever and four years later we announced all our trips are carbon neutral,” Wade told the audience assembled for a panel with Gore.

Travel companies are uniquely placed to take a stance on emissions, particularly in offsetting air travel.

“I don’t want congratulations, I’m actually going to have a bit of a whinge. Whilst it took four years to do and time and money, at that stage our business was turning over about $30 million a year and this year it will be north of $300 million.

“So despite the fact we are spending money on carbon offsetting, why is it that businesses don’t take the steps that we talk about every day? It concerns me that businesses don’t take that next step and take action. It’s fixable.

“First of all, congratulations – that’s a wonderful success story,” Gore said of Intrepid’s stance.

“I have been especially impressed by how many business leaders have taken leadership,” Gore said.

“I think collectively, business has failed,” Wade said.

“We’re in the process of succeeding,” Gore said.

“In the Paris climate negotiations, businesses played a hugely important role. Business can give some governments permission to be bolder and take the action that’s necessary.”

“The license to operate – the public gives its permission for business to succeed or not and a lot of businesses have worked out that if they’re not part of the solution they are going to lose the customers,” Gore said.

For example, some of the big banks in Australia have refused to refinance the proposal to open a new mine and coal basin.

“The story of the climate crisis now is filled with hope. You can’t be like Pollyanna and have unrealistic optimism.

“Regrettably, some damage has taken place. But we have to push through that and seize the moment,” Gore said.

Intrepid Travel will be holding screenings for Australian travel agents to see An Inconvenient Sequel before the general public release on August 10.

  • Brisbane – Palace Barracks,  Wednesday 2nd August 2017
  • Melbourne – Palace Como, Monday 7th August 2017
  • Sydney – Palace Chauvel, Wednesday 9th August 2017

For further information and to RSVP email: AgentRSVP@intrepidgroup.travel

 

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