World leaders attending the Glasgow Summit shared their commitment to making tourism more climate-friendly, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Rebalancing our relationship with nature is critical to renewing its ecological health and our personal, social and economic well-being. It is also important for tourism, which builds on and connects us with thriving ecosystems,” the leaders said in what is now known as the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action on Tourism.
They also agreed that restoring nature and the human relationship with it is central to tourism’s recovery from COVID-19.
The leaders announced their shared commitment to join all stakeholders in transforming tourism to deliver effective climate action. They also showed their full support for the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and to reach the NetZero emissions target before 2050.
They also agreed on a coordinated plan to combat climate change through tourism, which consists of three points:
Submit Climate Action Plans within 12 months of signing. Update/implement existing plans to align with this announcement. Publicly report on progress against interim and long-term goals and actions being taken
They also agreed on five common tracks for their plans to follow in order to ensure that climate action is coordinated across all tourism.
It measures all emissions related to travel and tourism, decarbonization of tourism, regeneration of ecosystems, collaborating with all stakeholders in this regard, and finally financing training and research and implementing effective financial and policy tools where required to accelerate the transition process.
“We commit to submitting plans aligned with these pathways to halve tourism emissions over the next decade and reach net zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050,” the leaders pledged.
According to a press release regarding the Glasgow Declaration, carbon dioxide emissions in tourism increased by 60 percent from 2005 to 2016, while transport-related carbon dioxide was responsible for five percent of global emissions in 2016.
Research by the World Tourism Organization/ITF shows that if decarbonization is not accelerated, tourism carbon emissions could increase to 25 percent or more by 2030, compared to 2016 levels.
Leaders believe tourism can become a leader in the transition to a low carbon future by prioritizing community and ecosystem well-being and rapidly moving away from carbon and material intensive routes to deliver visitor experiences.
The UN COP 26 Conference on Climate Change is taking place at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, from October 31 to November 12, in an effort to ramp up efforts in the fight against climate change.
British naturalist David Attenborough also participated in the summit as the people’s advocate. At the opening ceremony, he called for immediate action and gave leaders a brief warning about the fragility of the planet and humanity’s dependence on nature.