UN urges travel industry to sign climate action pledge at COP26
As the climate change crisis rapidly approaches a point where it becomes irreversible, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) strives to coordinate and accelerate the climate action efforts of key actors. of the travel industry.
The 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) is hosted by the Scottish city of Glasgow in the United Kingdom from October 31 to November 12, 2021; and, the UNFCCC calls on world leaders in the travel and tourism industry, from airlines to tour operators, to sign and commit to the “Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism” when it is launched official next week at the COP26 summit.
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The goal of the Glasgow Declaration is to help the UN meet its previously stated goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieving ‘Net Zero’ by 2050. In s ‘Committing to halve carbon emissions by the end of this decade, the travel industry would align itself uniformly with the broader “Race to Zero” campaign across the global economy.
Similar to the 2015 Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC, the declaration follows the formation of the industry-specific initiative “Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency”, which was joined by hundreds of organizations from various sectors of the sector since its inception in 2020. Rightly, VisitScotland was the first national tourism organization to declare a climate emergency, according to euronews.travel.
Even with much of the global activity suspended by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the atmospheric concentration of C02 has reached 149% of pre-industrial levels. Greenhouse gases produced by the tourism sector alone increased by at least 60% between 2005 and 2016, and the industry generated 5% of all global emissions in 2016. The latest research published by the Organization The United Nations Travel World (UNWTO) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) also found that C02 emissions generated by tourism are expected to increase by 25 percent by 2030, unless there are significant positive actions for the world. climate are not widely and immediately taken.
Greenhouse gas levels are hitting new records. Again
The CO2 concentration in 2020 was 149% in pre-industrial times
COVID-19 economic downturn has had no real impact
We are set for a temperature rise well above #ParisAccord target of 1.5 ° C-2 ° C. https://t.co/LQ5sVilzcE# COP26 pic.twitter.com/S0NHxa5jg9
– World Meteorological Organization (@OMM) 25 October 2021
The Glasgow Declaration outlines five shared paths that signatories should follow:
Measure – Measure and report all tourism-related emissions transparently using tools and methodologies approved by the UNFCCC.
Decarbonize – Set and deliver objectives to accelerate decarbonization in all areas of activity, carbon offsetting only playing a subsidiary role.
Regenerate – Restore and protect ecosystems, and safeguard biodiversity, food security and water supply.
Collaborate – Share risks and solutions to ensure that collective plans are as effective and coordinated as possible.
Finance – Ensure that the resources and organizational capacities are sufficient to achieve the common objectives of the climate plan.
All parties signing the declaration commit to providing a concrete climate action plan (or updated plan) within 12 months of signing and implementing the changes swiftly.
“A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if the recovery in tourism accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to take into account not only economic value, but rather regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities, ”the statement said. States.
Today we welcome @Google to the COP26 family as a Partner
– COP26 (@ COP26) October 29, 2021
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General, said: “No organization can tackle this problem alone. This is why we urgently need to work together within a coherent sectoral approach to accelerate change and therefore I encourage tourism stakeholders to endorse the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.
“As stated in One Planet’s Vision for Responsible Tourism Recovery from COVID-19, engaging and planning for a green recovery provides us with a unique opportunity to transform the sector in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.” , indicates the declaration. . “If we can quickly move away from carbon-intensive and material-intensive methods of delivering experiences to visitors, prioritizing the well-being of the community and ecosystems instead, then tourism can be a leader in the transformation. towards a low carbon future. “
For more information, visit ukcop26.org.