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Intrepid urges tour operators to reduce emissions with open-source guide

With the world’s leaders gathered at COP26 in Glasgow, Intrepid Travel has released a comprehensive measurement guide to help tour operators decarbonise their business.

There are hopes that COP26 will prompt governments and industries to commit to more ambitious climate action, including halving emissions by 2030.

Tourism contributes a significant industry-wide carbon footprint – pre-pandemic accounting for eight per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Intrepid is using this moment to call on all tourism businesses to increase their commitment, including measuring and reducing their emissions, in line with a 1.5 degrees Celsius future.

Intrepid’s open-source guide for tour operators to set a science-based target will empower any tour operator with the ability to start measuring their business’s and their supply chain’s carbon footprint.

The guide is authored by Intrepid’s environmental impact specialist, Dr Susanne Etti, and produced in partnership with industry decarbonisation collective Tourism Declares.

It is one sector-specific resource that will be released at COP26 to empower tourism businesses to decarbonise, with others including a net-zero methodology for hotels and other resources.

“You can’t reduce what you don’t measure, and there are few travel companies that really understand the impact they’re having on the planet,” said Etti.

“The critical step is measuring and then reducing your emission. Without that baseline, it is extremely hard to understand the impact of any decarbonisation actions.”

By sharing an open-source version of its methodology, developed with consultancy Ndevr Environmental (also a contributor to the guide), Intrepid hopes to empower other tour operators to measure their own emissions.

“We wanted to create a science-led tool to move the needle on decarbonisation,” Etti said.

“We cannot solve the climate crisis alone and this type of industry-wide collaboration is critical.”

Meanwhile, Intrepid co-founder and chairman Darrell Wade is attending COP26 in his capacity as vice-chair of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and chair of the Sustainability Committee to advocate for industry-wide tourism action on climate change.

Wade has been instrumental in the development of the Glasgow Declaration, which aims to raise the climate ambition of tourism stakeholders and secure strong actions to support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net zero as soon as possible before 2050.

The declaration will be officially launched at COP26 on 4 November 2021, with Intrepid a signatory.


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