Tourism Unites Behind the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action at COP26
The Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism was recently launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Some of tourism’s biggest businesses have joined governments and destinations in committing to cut emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest.
The Glasgow Declaration recognizes the urgent need for a globally consistent plan for climate action in tourism. Signatories commit to measure, decarbonize, regenerate, and unlock finance. Additionally, each signatory commits to deliver a concrete climate action plan, or updated plan, within 12 months of signing.
Speaking at COP26, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “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”. He added that “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), Visit Scotland, 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.
“WTTC [World Travel & Tourism Council] 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”, said Julia Simpson, President and CEO, WTTC.
“Through the Glasgow Declaration, the One Planet Network‘s Sustainable Tourism Programme offers a common platform to catalyze climate action in tourism. This Initiative is fundamental to create the right momentum to accelerate climate action in tourism through sustainable consumption and production.” said Jorge Laguna-Celis, Hhead of the One Planet Network Secretariat, Economy Division, UNEP.
“As UN High-Level Climate Action Champions, we warmly welcome the Glasgow Declaration and recognize 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,” said Gonzalo Muñoz, High-Level Climate Champion.
The launch event at COP26 featured a panel discussion underscoring the importance of increased climate action and ambition in the tourism sector, with contributions from David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, alongside Iván Eskildsen, minister of tourism for Panama; Jan Christian Vestre, minister of trade and industry for Norway; Patrick Child, deputy director general for the environment at the European Commission; Julia Simpson, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council; Catherine Dolton, trustee and treasurer of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance; Darrell Wade, co-founder and chairman, Intrepid Group; and Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.
The more than 300 signatories include businesses, countries, tourism stakeholders and destinations, among them:
- AITO—The Specialist Travel Association
- ANVR—Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators
- Asian Ecotourism Network
- Bilbao Convention Bureau
- Bucuti & Tara
- Cairngorns National Park Authority
- Dallas Fort Worth Airport
- ETOA—European Tourism Association
- Forum Anders Reisen
- Future of Tourism Coalition
- GSTC—Global Sustainable Tourism Council
- Iberostar Group
- Innovation Norway
- Intrepid Travel
- Legacy Vacation Resorts
- Much Better Adventures
- Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
- NECSTouR—Network of European Regions for Sustainable and Competitive Tourism
- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
- Pacific Tourism Organization
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Sustainable Hospitality Alliance
- The Long Run
- Tourism Authority of Kiribati
- Travalyst Limited
- World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
This article was first published by UNWTO on 4 November 2021.