Skip to main content
Tourism Climate Action


Tourism & Climate Change

The tourism sector is highly vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, tourism contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), the cause of global warming. Accelerating climate action in tourism is therefore of utmost importance for the resilience of the sector.

According to UNWTO/ITF research released in December 2019 at UNFCCC COP25, CO2 emissions from tourism were forecast to increase at least by 25% by 2030 in a business as usual scenario.

Therefore, the need to scale up climate action in tourism remains urgent.

In 2020, the One Planet Vision for a responsible recover of the tourism sector was adopted with the aim to emerge stronger and more sustainable from the COVID-19 crisis. Climate action occupies a central place in the Vision, which calls for monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions from tourism, promoting the introduction of science-based targets, accelerating the decarbonization of tourism operations and engaging the tourism sector in carbon removal.

In May 2021, the G20 Tourism Ministers welcomed the UNWTO Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy, acknowledging that there is a “growing consensus that recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic must also tackle the underlying reasons and sustainability challenges.”

UNWTO led a review of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Tourism Policies in 2022 which  identified that references to the tourism sector are made in 53% of NDCs (from 42% in 2019) and references to climate change are made in 62% of National Tourism Policies (from 42% in 2019).


For further details on this research please access the Policy Snapshot here.