Speaking at the International Hotel & Restaurant Association Annual Congress in Hangzhou, China, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Co-founder SUNx, discussed the urgent need for the tourism industry to tackle climate change and work together to develop climate resilience strategy. Lipman said:
“One of our known challenges – climate change – is existential and that means if we don’t fix it, our grandchildren will freeze or fry. And it also means we have to keep the pressure on that through other mega-challenges such as poverty, hunger and terrorism dealt with in 17 SDGs (with 169 targets and 304 indicators). All are vitally important but secondary if we do not deal with global warming.”
SUNx – Strong Universal Network is a program of the EU based, not for profit Green Growth and Travelism Institute, and a legacy to the late Maurice Strong – sustainable development pioneer. Its goal is to promote Climate Resilient, Impact-Travel with good & bad effects measured and managed coherently: with Green Growth at the core and, 2050-proof in line with the Paris Accords and the W.E.F. 4th Industrial Revolution.
Addressing the Congress Professor Lipman charted the evolution of the tourism industry with its growth mindset focussed on bed nights and visitor numbers, coming to grips with the need to manage its growth sustainably. The triple bottom line focus on Economic, Social and Environmental sustainability must now address Climate Change first and foremost.
Impact-Travel is a template for sustainable Travel and Tourism that is Paris Climate & SDG linked – measured: green: 2050 proofed. SUNx has developed a system for Impact-Travel, Learning, Innovation and Resilience. It is based on a network of cloud connected, solar powered pre-fabricated Centres for local Community focus. Shipped in a single container, they can be set up rapidly, without extensive machinery. They will be operated by smart, next generation, climate change curators, with graduate trainee support through Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarships, provided by industry CSR support. This next generation of SUNx “Champions” will help to drive the behavioural change and influence the fundamental government and industry actions needed.
Professor Lipman urged the hotel and restaurant community to step up to the challenge of developing climate resilience strategy in line with the 2030/2050 SDG & Paris targets. SUNx wants to form partnerships in line with Goal 17 and the One Belt, One Road initiative. Quoting Chairman Mao Lipman said that “The long march started with a small step. By uniting together to take that first vital step it will be the beginning of a global movement that continues Maurice Strong’s sustainability vision for the Travel & Tourism sector.