Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency has revealed it will soon join forces with the Travel Foundation as its flagship climate program.
The Travel Foundation also committed to providing ongoing support for the newly launched “Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism”, working in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Both announcements, which were made at the COP26 Climate Summit yesterday, place the tourism NGO at the helm of pushing tourism businesses and destinations to rapidly decarbonise, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration.
Tourism Declares is a global community of 385 tourism organisations, companies and professionals who have committed to delivering a Climate Action Plan aligned with the need to cut emissions in half by 2030.
“The Glasgow Declaration isn’t just a pledge – it is a commitment to take action to halve tourism’s emissions by 2030, and to report on progress made each year,” said Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.
“It’s vital we start with the right ambition, but then the hard work really begins. Being part of the Travel Foundation allows us to take our efforts to the next level for global impact.”
The Travel Foundation and UNWTO are now on the hunt for high-impact partnerships to speed up the aims of the Tourism Declares initiative and the ambitions of the Glasgow Declaration at the scale needed to meet global climate goals.
The launch of the Glasgow Declaration at COP26 on 4 November marks a significant milestone for climate action in tourism.
Both Tourism Declares and the Travel Foundation were members of the five-party drafting committee for the declaration – a global commitment for the travel and tourism industry to cut sector emissions in half by 2030, to align climate action plans across five “pathways”, and to report publicly on progress made.
All organisations in travel and tourism are encouraged to support the declaration (go HERE), and Tourism Declares’ role will be to advocate for and catalyse, accelerated climate action with an emphasis on climate equity and resilience, and the needs of destination communities.
As part of its new place in the tourism industry’s decarbonisation journey, the NGO has committed to annually publishing progress reports on who has signed the declaration and their progress, developing sector-wide approaches to carbon measurement and reporting, road-testing new ways to tackle shared responsibilities, strengthen collaboration and community within the industry and providing knowledge, tools, and inspiration needed for industry-wide change.
It will also coordinate an advisory committee for the Glasgow Declaration that will convene within the framework of the UN’s One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme to ensure that diversity, equity and climate science are at the heart of this initiative.
Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, said: “We know we must collaborate and scale up like never before, connecting both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches by galvanising community action and creating levers for change across governments and corporations.
“Tourism’s transition to climate-positive is also about tourism’s transformation more generally, shifting to a more equitable model that balances the needs of residents and businesses while managing and reducing its burden on destinations.”
The Travel Foundation and Tourism Declares participated in an official COP26 online event to mark the launch of the Glasgow Declaration, on Thursday alongside partners VisitScotland, NECSTouR and the Future of Tourism Coalition.
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