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Tourism Climate Action

Why a Declaration?

Why a Declaration?

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated “2021 will be a make-or-break year to confront the global climate emergency”. The UN Climate Change Conference COP 26 was held in Glasgow in November 2021 with the aim to strengthen climate ambition and action for the coming decade. The Glasgow Declaration was created to secure strong actions and commitment from the tourism sector prior to the COP and beyond, to cut tourism emissions at least in half over the next decade and reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050.

The tourism sector is highly vulnerable to climate change and at the same time contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), one of the causes of global warming. Taking into consideration the recent climate related risks and extreme unprecedented events, accelerating climate action in tourism is of utmost importance for the resilience of the sector. The Glasgow Declaration aims to act as a catalyst for increased urgency across travel and tourism about the need to accelerate climate action during COVID-19 recovery and beyond. Each signatory will commit to deliver a concrete climate action plan (or to update an existing plan), within 12 months from signing, aligned with five pathways: measurement, decarbonization, regeneration, collaboration, and financing.

Specifically, the Glasgow Declaration aims to unite those leading tourism’s transformation around a common set of pathways for climate action, by:

defining a clear and consistent sector-wide message and approach to climate action in the coming decade, aligned with the wider scientific framework and urgency to act now.

     outlining the pathways and specific actions that will accelerate tourism’s ability to transform tourism and achieve net zero as soon as possible.

    encouraging signatories across all sectors of tourism to demonstrate their public support for scaling up the sector’s response to the climate emergency.  

    The UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November (COP26) provided a momentous occasion for the tourism sector, marking the start of a decade of concerted, urgent action to halve global greenhouse gas emissions.

    The drafting committee for the Glasgow Declaration consisted of UNWTO, UNEP, VisitScotland, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and the Travel Foundation. More than 30 organizations and partners of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme provided inputs to the drafting process. Learn more about the preparatory phase of the Glasgow Declaration here.

    The Declaration builds on the Davos Declaration which was adopted in 2007 by tourism stakeholders, acknowledging the urgency to further assess the impacts deriving from the relation between tourism and climate change.