LONDON, UK – The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today issued an official statement setting out the vision and commitment of travel and tourism industry leaders to tackle climate change.
The report entitled, ‘Leading the Challenge on Climate Change,’ was launched at Clarence House under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.
“This report represents a collective effort and is a joint message for the travel and tourism industry,” said WTTC president and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten. “It was honor to work with HRH The Prince of Wales, his various charities, and the Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership, in addition to leaders from our industry and experts on climate change.”
Endorsed by a large number of WTTC members – who are the chairs and CEOs of the industry’s foremost travel and tourism companies – this report is the first phase of WTTC’s environmental initiative. Next steps include the development of a web portal, which will promote information on reducing carbon emissions and will share best practice examples already initiated across the world. WTTC plans to use the web portal and the report launched today to inform commercial and public policy-makers.
The report, ‘Leading the Challenge on Climate Change,’ lists ten key action items for the industry. One of the key commitments to action is a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 over 2005 levels. The report also defines an interim aspirational target of a carbon emission reduction of 30 percent by 2020 in the presence of an international agreement, or a 25 percent reduction by the same year in the absence of such an agreement.
“Achieving an international climate policy under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is vital to set out the vision for tackling climate change. Business can then gain confidence to implement bold actions such as those outlined in this report and play their part in delivering a low climate-risk economy,” explained Dr. Aled Jones, deputy director of the University of Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership.
Further action items listed in the report touch on drivers of change for the industry. These include accountability and responsibility; local community growth and capacity building; educating customers and stakeholders; the greening of supply chains; and innovation, capital investment, and infrastructure within the industry.
“The publication and wide dissemination of this report reflects WTTC’s commitment to the critical issue of climate change,” said Baumgarten. “But, even more importantly, it demonstrates that our members – all travel and tourism leaders – have taken a significant step towards ensuring that the progressive voice of the industry joins that of other influential constituents of the global business community, in order to help ensure that the challenge of climate change is rapidly addressed.”