Many of the world’s biggest tourism companies have improved their carbon efficiency by 20 per cent in the last ten years and are on course to cut CO2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2035, according to a major new report.
“Travel & Tourism 2015; Connecting Global Climate Action,” published by the World Travel & Tourism Council, outlines the preparedness of the sector for climate change alleviation measures and demonstrates the progress that has been made by the world’s leading airlines, airports, hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies and technology companies in the last decade.
The report concludes that the world’s biggest tourism companies, as represented by the members of WTTC, are, 20 per cent more carbon efficient today than they were in 2005.
They are also on course to cut CO2 emissions by 50 per cent from 2005 to 2035 and on course to reach the target of 25 per cent reduction by 2020.
In 2009, WTTC published “Leading the Challenge on Climate Change,” which identified key themes and action areas required to meet the target of reducing our 2035 carbon emissions by 50 per cent based on 2005 levels.
In the run up to the COP21 climate change talks in Paris at the end of this year, WTTC has reviewed progress against these themes to determine how the sector can build on this progress to respond effectively to the challenges of the future.
The initiatives and progress made to date have reduced carbon emissions to the point where WTTC Member companies are 20 per cent less carbon-intense now than they were in 2005, closely approaching the interim target of 25 per cent intensity reduction in 2020 set in 2009.
WTTC president David Scowsill said: “In 2015, tourism is forecast to contribute almost ten per cent of world GDP and one in 11 of all jobs on the planet.
“The strength of the sector is due to continue for the next decade at almost four per cent per annum.
“With such robust growth, tourism’s relationship to climate change becomes critical.
“Much has changed in the six years since we published “Leading the Challenge on Climate Change” to support the global climate talks backing international agreements.
“While the sector has grown, added more jobs and contributed billions of dollars to economies all over the world, we have seen real commitment to sustainability from business as companies innovate and collaborate with others to reduce their overall impacts.
“WTTC Members are investing heavily in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, are protecting valuable ecosystems and have been building awareness of their actions among stakeholders and customers.
“The majority of WTTC Members are publicly disclosing their efforts through various means of Environmental, Social and Governance reporting.
“Per passenger, per room, per rental, per transaction, and per unit of revenue, we now serve global travellers 20 per cent more efficiently than in 2005 and are contributing to our goal of a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035.
“The next 20 years will be characterised by our sector fully integrating climate change and related issues into business strategy, supporting the global transition to a low carbon economy, strengthening resilience at a local level against climate risks, promoting the value of responsible travel, and greening entire supply chains.
“To reach these long term goals, much still needs to be done across tourism and other sectors, but we now have a common understanding and are ever-closer to agreement on the global actions necessary.”