The World Travel and Tourism Council has partnered with the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Accenture to introduce a Net Zero Roadmap.
The initiative designed to “guide the global travel and tourism sector in its battle against the climate crisis.” According to the report, the sector is responsible for an estimated 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It goes on to lay out concrete guidelines and recommendations to help businesses to reach net zero by 2050.
The roadmap includes key decarbonization levers and specific actions for the five industries of accommodation, tour operators, aviation, cruise and tourism intermediaries such as online travel agents and metasearch engines. Businesses in the sector are grouped into three clusters depending on their emission profiles and the difficulty of limiting their greenhouse gas emissions.
The report argues that certain industries may achieve net zero before 2050 “if more ambitious targets are set and different decarbonization approaches are followed”.
Among the recommendations in the report, business should:
- Set baselines and emission targets now to achieve individual and sector goals
- Monitor and report progress regularly
- Collaborate within and across industries and government
- Provide finance and investment required for the transition
- Raise awareness and build knowledge and capabilities on climate change
“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 rely on tourism are first in line to see the impact and wanting to do something about it,” Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, said. “The Travel and Tourism sector is taking this opportunity to be a catalyst for change. We have a responsibility towards our people and planet,” Simpson added.
“I am delighted to announce our pioneering Net Zero Roadmap for Travel and Tourism. It helps travel industries reach individual targets to reduce our carbon footprint,” Simpson said. “Our sector can be part of the change that is urgently required to mitigate impacts and adapt to the threats posed by climate change.”
The collaborative process included input from organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Air Transport Association, Air Transport Action Group, Cruise Lines International Association, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and Travalyst.
To see the full report, visit here.
“As the travel industry resets after a tough few years, there is an incredible opportunity to rebuild responsibly and accelerate the shift towards a net-zero future for the sector,” noted Emily Weiss, managing director and head of Accenture’s Travel Industry Group globally.
“The Net Zero Roadmap offers a pragmatic but ambitious course of action that will help the industry create real and visible targets to reduce its carbon impact, providing the transparency that consumers demand,” Weiss added. “Crucially, it identifies the big levers where travel can turn a corner on emissions and provides the building blocks to create meaningful change.”