Explore was a founding signatory of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency when it was launched in January 2020, with the aim of accelerating the development and delivery of Climate Action Plans across the tourism industry. The Tourism Declares framework and commitments were subsequently used to inform the Glasgow Declaration, and the commitments made by signatories are aligned with one another.
As the world is recovering from the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021 (COP26) will be a crucial occasion for travel and tourism, providing an opportunity to accelerate climate action across our sector and start a decade of concerted, urgent action to cut the sector’s global greenhouse gas emissions in half.
The intent of the Glasgow Declaration is to urge and enable all travel and tourism stakeholders to sign and demonstrate, for the first time as a united sector, a shared voice and commitment to aligning the sector’s climate ambitions with scientific recommendations and international agreements.
The Declaration is asking its signatories to commit to:
- Support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050
- Deliver climate action plans within 12 months from becoming a signatory (or updating existing plans), and begin implementing them
- Align their plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and co-ordinate climate action in tourism
- Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken
- Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information to encourage additional organizations to become signatories and supporting one another to reach targets as quickly as possible.
The Declaration is intended to spur urgent, concerted climate action in tourism and therefore acknowledges the importance of halving emissions by 2030 as a key milestone for all sectors to be able to achieve Net Zero globally by 2050.
In the absence of a specific sectoral emissions reduction goal for the travel and tourism sector, the Declaration is requesting its signatories to strive to achieve a 50% emissions reduction from tourism operations by 2030, in alignment with the global commitment.
Signatories are requested to describe, within their Climate Action Plans, their maximum ambition towards a 50% emission reduction target by 2030, taking into account the complexities of the tourism value chain and circumstances which influence the various tourism sub-sectors.
The Declaration aims to mobilise tourism stakeholders to reach this shared global goal as well as to advance towards the collective definition of a sectoral goal, for which the engagement and collaboration of all types of tourism stakeholders is key.
The UNFCCC have applied the following definitions:
Carbon Neutral: the status where the greenhouse gas emissions associated to an organization, company, product or service are estimated, plans are developed and implemented to reduce or avoid them, and finally any non-avoided emissions are compensated or “offset” with carbon credits.
Net Zero: the status where the greenhouse gas emissions associated to an organization, company, product or service are estimated, plans are developed and implemented to reduce or avoid them, and finally any non-avoided emissions are “neutralized” through carbon capture or removal technologies.
Climate Neutral: a wider term than the ones above, climate neutral refers to zero interference with the climate from human activities. It includes not only greenhouse gas emissions, but also aspects such as changes in the albedo of surfaces, placing aerosols in the atmosphere and others. Carbon neutrality can be a step towards Net Zero. However, carbon neutrality will not get us to the goals of the Paris Agreement, as it is impossible for every organization, company, product and service to offset their emissions. At some point, the options for offsetting are exhausted. We need carbon capture and removal technologies in order to achieve Net Zero and the goals of the Paris Agreement.
You can find out more on the Glasgow Declaration website
. We will continue to update our website with on our own commitments and progress.