LONDON, 11 November 2021: As world leaders continue their deliberations on climate change at COP26 for a second week, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched an ambitious Net Zero Roadmap to guide the global Travel & Tourism sector in its battle against the climate crisis.

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism
private sector, developed the roadmap in collaboration with the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and
Accenture.

The roadmap provides concrete guidelines and recommendations
to help guide Travel & Tourism businesses on their journey towards net
zero.

By providing milestones for meaningful climate action and
emissions reduction for different industries within the sector, the roadmap
sets out the challenges ahead and how the Travel & Tourism sector can
decarbonise and reach net zero by 2050.

This report shows how the sector is greatly impacted by
climate change as it affects destinations around the world, but as with many
other sectors, it is also responsible for an estimated 8-10% of global
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The sector, therefore, has a key role to play in fighting
climate change, which will require heightened ambitions and differentiated
decarbonisation approaches, as outlined in the roadmap.

WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson said: “I am
delighted to announce our pioneering Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism.
It helps travel industries reach individual targets to reduce their carbon
footprint.

“Many destinations are affected by the impacts of climate
change with rising sea levels, deforestation and the loss of animal and plant
species. Communities that rely on tourism are first in line to see the impact
and want to do something about it.

“The Travel & Tourism sector is taking this opportunity
to be a catalyst for change. We have a responsibility towards our people and
planet.

“It is absolutely critical that the private and public
sector work collectively to achieve the Paris Agreement and prevent the global
rise in temperatures.

“Our sector can be part of the change that is urgently
required to mitigate impacts and adapt to the threats posed by climate change.”

Accenture’s Travel Industry Group managing director Emily Weiss said: “As the travel industry resets after a tough few years, there is an incredible opportunity to rebuild responsibly and accelerate the shift towards a net-zero future for the sector.

“The Net Zero Roadmap offers a pragmatic but ambitious
course of action that will help the industry create real and visible targets to
reduce its carbon impact, providing the transparency that consumers demand.
Crucially, it identifies the big levers where travel can turn a corner on emissions
and provides the building blocks to create meaningful change.”

The roadmap presents a new target framework with
decarbonisation corridors, which groups Travel & Tourism businesses into
three clusters, depending on their emission profiles and the difficulty of
abating their GHG emissions.

Certain industries may achieve net zero before 2050 if more
ambitious targets are set, and different decarbonisation approaches are
followed.

The detailed roadmap includes key decarbonisation levers and
corresponding actions for five key industries of the Travel & Tourism
sector: accommodation, tour operators, aviation, cruise, and tourism
intermediaries such as online travel agents (OTAs) and metasearch engines.

Acknowledging that different industries face different
challenges to decarbonise, the roadmap calls on businesses to increase their
ambitions where possible and provides detailed recommendations for five areas:

  1. Set baselines and emission targets now to achieve individual and sector goals
  2. Monitor and report progress regularly
  3. Collaborate within and across industries and government
  4. Provide finance and investment required for the transition
  5. Raise awareness and build knowledge and capabilities on climate change.

This roadmap calls upon world leaders to give Travel &
Tourism the same level of support offered to other sectors and gives
recommendations to governments on how they can support the sector, which before
the pandemic represented 10.4% of the global GDP (US$9.2 trillion), in
addressing climate challenges and its goals to achieve a net-zero future.

The collaborative process included key organisations such as
the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), International Air Transport Association
(IATA), Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), Cruise Lines International
Association (CLIA), Travalyst, and SHA (Sustainable Hospitality Alliance),
among others.

(SOURCE: WTTC)