Source: Small Island Developing States
24 September 2019: The Sustainability Action Plan of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) aims to encourage and help the travel and tourism sector to take stronger and more ambitious action to address climate change.
During the launch event at the 2019 WTTC Conference in New York, US, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that while the travel and tourism industry has grown to be a global economic force, generating 10.4% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, it also accounts for around 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that she described as “the single biggest threat to the travel and tourism sector.”
One of the actions to be initiated under a WTTC/UNFCCC Common Agenda, launched in 2018, is a sector-wide dialogue on climate action in the travel and tourism sector, bringing together industry leaders, climate experts and others to identify how the sector can contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and to develop cooperation models under the UNFCCC to facilitate such action.
In 2009, the WTTC set an aspirational target for the sector of reducing its total carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2035, with an interim target of 30% by 2020. A WTTC progress report in 2015 noted that member companies had improved their carbon efficiency by 20% over the previous decade.
WTTC is a signatory to UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now (CNN) initiative, with a commitment to become climate neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. [WTTC Announcement] [UNFCCC Press Release]