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Tourism tops agenda as UNWTO welcomes participants to climate change summit

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The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has welcomed its fellow United Nations agencies to Madrid for the start of the COP25 Climate Change Summit. With tourism now high on the United Nations agenda, and with UNWTO the global leader in tourism for development and advocacy, this summit will see the near-limitless potential of the sector discussed at the very highest level and placed at the center of the climate emergency conversation.

Leaders from around the world are set to attend the summit, which will take place from 2-13 December, under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. A key objective this year is to advance critical issues relating to the full operationalization of the Paris Agreement. Since the landmark climate change agreement was signed by 197 nations in 2015, tourism has established itself as one of the most important global sectors for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Sustainability Agenda.

As the United Nations specialised agency for the promotion of tourism as a driver of the sustainable development agenda, UNWTO participates with a high-level delegation, led by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili in the summit. UNWTO will also be holding a high-level side event on 3 December. This official side event in the Blue Zone brings back the tourism discussion into the heart of the COP, engaging policy makers whom are committed to the low carbon transformation of the tourism sector.

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The official side event will mark the launch of the new UNWTO-ITF report Transport-Related CO2 Emissions in the Tourism Sector, a groundbreaking study that presents the climate implications of the different modes of transport used by the tourism sector and provides the evidence necessary for the global tourism sector to define a high ambition scenario for the years to come.

“UNWTO is proud to lead the efforts of the global tourism sector to deliver on climate response,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili.

“Spain is a global tourism leader and Madrid the ideal setting for this. I thank the Government of Chile for organizing this high-level summit and Spain for hosting it. COP25 represents a great opportunity to stress the important role tourism can play in building a better, more sustainable world for all,” he added.

The event will feature high-level speakers, led by the UNWTO Secretary-General and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa. Also contributing at the event will be the Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism, Ms. Isabel Oliver, Ms. Brigitte Collet, French Ambassador for Climate, Mr. Carlos Gentile, Secretary of State for Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Argentina and Chair of the Board of Directors of the One Planet network and Mr. Wills Agricole, Principal Secretary for Energy and Climate Change of Seychelles.


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