UKinbound has become a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism which unites the travel and tourism industry behind a common set of pathways for climate action, aligning the sector with global commitments and catalysing collaborative solutions to the many challenges facing businesses and destinations globally.
The Glasgow Declaration was officially launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021 and encourages the acceleration of climate action in tourism by securing commitments to reduce emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the next decade and achieve Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
As a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration, UKinbound has committed to aligning its actions with the latest scientific recommendations, so as to ensure its approach remains consistent with a rise of no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The Association has also agreed to deliver a climate action plan within 12 months which will be aligned with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonise, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance), report publicly on an annual basis, and work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information.
Joss Croft OBE, CEO of UKinbound comments: “The UK’s tourism industry attracts thousands of domestic and international visitors every year and relies heavily on the natural environment so of course it is in the industry’s best interests to take every action possible to protect it.
“Talking about being more sustainable is easy, actually doing it requires a significant change in mindset and attitude and a lot of hard work but the Association is determined to play its part in leading the inbound tourism sector and supporting our members every way we can.”
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism brings together the latest research and global expertise to galvanise climate action. It is hosted within the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme’s website, supported by Recommended Actions for tourism stakeholders across the world to consider as part of their action planning, alongside other resources.
As the declaration states: “A just transition to Net Zero before 2050 will only be possible if tourism’s recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production, and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity and communities.”
The need for a globally consistent approach for climate action in tourism has been made clear, notably through research into CO2 emissions carried out by UNWTO/ITF and released at the UNFCCC COP25 in December 2019. This showed that transport-related emissions from tourism were forecast to increase by 25% by 2030 from 2016 levels, against the current ambition scenario.
In 2020, the One Planet Vision for a responsible recovery of the tourism sector was adopted with the aim of emerging from the COVID-19 crisis both stronger and more sustainable. Climate action is a central element of the Vision, which calls for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions from tourism, promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarbonisation of tourism operations, and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.