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COP26: Tourism unites behind Glasgow declaration on climate action

By Maria Diamond
06 November 2021   |   4:05 am
The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference also known as COP26 has launched Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism.

(Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference also known as COP26 has launched Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism.

The event, which took place this week, had some of tourism’s biggest businesses collaborate with governments and destinations in committing to cut emissions in half by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050 at the latest.

The Glasgow Declaration recognises the urgent need for a globally consistent plan for climate action in tourism. Signatories committed to measure, decarbonise, regenerate and unlock finance. Also, each signatory committed to delivering a concrete climate action plan, or updated plan, within 12 months of signing.

Speaking at COP26, the United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said, while many private businesses have led the way in advancing climate action, a more ambitious sector-wide approach is needed to ensure tourism accelerates climate action in a meaningful way.

“The Glasgow Declaration is a tool to help bridge the gap between good intentions and meaningful climate action. Already, more than 300 tourism stakeholders have signed up to the Declaration, including leading industry players to destinations, countries and other tourism stakeholders ranging from large to small.

“The Glasgow Declaration was developed through the collaboration of UNWTO, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), others. The Travel Foundation and Tourism declares a climate emergency within the framework of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme committed to accelerate sustainable consumption and production patterns.

President and CEO, WTTC Julia Simpson, said: “WTTC is delighted to be a supporter and launch partner to the Glasgow Declaration and thereby add our voice, the voice of the global private sector, to this important collective call for heightened ambition in the travel and tourism sector. The Glasgow Declaration is a real opportunity for travel and tourism to unite and show true leadership as we strive towards Net Zero.”

Head of the One Planet Network Secretariat, Economy Division, UNEP, Jorge Laguna-Celis said: “Through the Glasgow Declaration, the One Planet Network‘s Sustainable Tourism Programme offers a common platform to catalyse climate action in tourism. This initiative is fundamental to create the right momentum to accelerate climate action in tourism through sustainable consumption and production.”

High-Level Climate Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz, also said: “As UN High-Level Climate Action Champions, we warmly welcome the Glasgow Declaration and recognise the efforts of the over 300 Launch Partners. This is a pivotal step, aligning the tourism sector on our Race to Zero campaign’s goal of halving emissions by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by 2050 at the latest.”