Speaking at the launch of the African Tourism Board, Professor Geoffrey Lipman co-founder of SUNx – the Strong Universal Network said, “It’s time for Travel & Tourism to intensify preparations for the terrifying inevitability of Climate Change.”
Quoting Einstein, Lipman, who is a former leader in IATA; WTTC and UNWTO said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over believing you will get a different result. By that definition our industry is insane.”
“We talk incessantly about the benefits of growth and the importance of sustainability – but the truth is we have institutionalized the first and simply recognized the second. Moreover, we just don’t factor in the true costs of action to deal with the new norm of atmospheric pollution and dynamically extreme weather or plan for the radical disruption it will cause to a sector, with relatively stable weather patterns at the core of its products”.
Lipman said that we also need to realize the exposure to our kids and grandkids, stop talking to ourselves and engage directly with the next generation. He outlined a new plan by SUNx – a legacy initiative for Maurice Strong, the father of global Sustainable Development Action – to create a movement for 100,000 industry climate activists by 2030, tracking the Paris Accords and SDG13.
He called on the industry, through an enlightened CSR vision, to join with SUNx in an SDG 17 partnership for Climate Friendly Travel ~ measured to manage: green to grow: 2050 proof to innovate.
By the simple act of a low-cost, Scholarship Plan for graduates, committed to help society bend the Paris Curve towards more stable temperature levels, we can empower the next generation, who are the ones who will have to really deal with the transformation to the New Climate Economy.
The SUNx plan, targets every UN State and links academia, industry and civil society in the building of the movement. With its Lifetime Learning Portal and committed support systems in Europe, China and Latin America already in place, the addition of Africa through SDG partnerships with the African Tourism Board and ICTP would be a major step forward.
He referenced agreements with IRISS and t-Forum for Tourism Innovation for Resilience Scholarships in Naples Italy: with CBCGDF to extend the system in China and Belt and Road Countries: with Plan 21 to bring IBM Watson Analytics into play, as well as with Copernicus in Europe. There are plans with Les Roches in Switzerland to hold an annual Strong Climate Summit for Students in 2019 and with the Earth Focus Foundation in Geneva to deliver a Climate focussed cartoon series for kids, based on the return of the Dodo. He noted the annual ClimART Award with LCD
He added that if the big leaders in our sector give small scholarships in the places they operate …we can reach 100,000 Strong Climate Champions way in advance of 2030. Promoting the donors’ CSR and Climate Resilience vision. Catalysing more scholarships from their supply chain, impact investors and public sources. As well as helping our sector to play the true leadership transformation role that my friend Maurice Strong always believed we have the capacity to do.
Lipman concluded “there is already a powerful Travel force in society, now we must truly make it a force for good through Climate Friendly Travel – and there is no better place for Strong Climate Scholarships than the 54 States of Africa whose billion middle class travellers by 2050 will be in the front line of the new climate norm”