UNWTO: Tourism can help on climate change

According to the UNWTO, the tourism sector is an important part of the increasing awareness of climate change and the need to adapt to its consequences and mitigate the industry’s impact.The United Nations General Assembly meeting this week and the high-level meeting coming up when the new Assembly session starts in September are critically important in the development of a global position on climate change.

As the lead UN Agency for Tourism, UNWTO underscores the urgency to promote the sustainable development of the sector, including what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called a coherent strategy on climate and poverty.

While the developing world is only a marginal contributor to global warming, it is at the centre of the UN’s Millennium Development goals which aim at fighting poverty and fostering durable development. Poor countries stem to benefit from Tourism as a crucial export growth and job driver. UNWTO believes that a coherent balance between the sectoral climate response and the need for economic development of these countries can be reached with policy imagination, technology innovation and financial support.

Attending the meeting at UN Headquarters in New York on behalf of UNWTO, Assistant Secretary-General Geoffrey Lipman said that “Tourism can and must play its part in responding to the global climate imperative and we can and must do this in a way that also advances the industry’s contribution to poverty alleviation That will be a central task of our Conference in Davos”.

The Second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism (Davos, Switzerland, 1-3 October) and the following Ministerial Summit in London (13 November), will help formulate UNWTO’s input to the UN Secretary-General’s strategy for the upcoming negotiations under the UN Climate Change Convention in December in Bali, Indonesia.