The World Travel & Tourism Council has welcomed the agreement reached following COP21 in Paris, which binds the world’s governments to report openly on their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
While this agreement does not set specific targets, it does obliges governments to be transparent about the policies they put in place to address the challenge of climate change.
The tourism sector has long been acknowledging its responsibility to ensure its growth is sustainable and inclusive.
WTTC estimates tourism to grow by 3.5 per cent in 2015, bringing the sector’s total contribution to the world economy to US$7.8 trillion, and supporting 284 million jobs across the globe.
“Our sector’s very success depends on the preservation of the environment, cultures and people that we visit,” said the WTTC in a statement.
Today, WTTC launches an online tool that helps companies in any industry or sector understand the laws and regulations by country and stock exchanges relating to the reporting of environmental, social and governmental issues.
Based on WTTC’s “Environmental, Social & Governance reporting in Travel & Tourism: Trends, Outlook and Guidance” report, the tool, which can be found here, allows companies to see the specific legislation or regulation on ESG reporting by country linked to the year of in which such rules were introduced.
This information applies to all industries, not just tourism.
WTTC president Scowsill said: “After the Paris COP21 agreement, which puts a legally-binding obligation on countries to prepare plans to alleviate climate change, it is more important than ever that companies – in any industry – are able to evaluate their environmental impact before taking any relevant steps.
“However, companies do not always know how to report on their sustainable practices or are aware of which laws and regulations are in place and the obligations which they bring.
“The WTTC online tool shows the legislation and regulation in place in any country and stock exchange around the world governing ESG issues.
“While as a sector we continue to look to improve our sustainable practices and the legislation on ESG reporting, the tool allows organisations to communicate with and engage stakeholders.
“The onus is on all companies in all industries to report their environmental impact, this tool helps them understand where they need to act.
“Reporting on the practices we are implementing to combat climate change is a starting point and a commitment towards a more sustainable future of not just our sector but any industry.”