Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The World Travel and Tourism Council meeting in Buenos Aires has announced a formal partnership with the UNFCCC to jointly tackle climate damage caused by global tourism.
WTTC AND UN CLIMATE CHANGE IN NEW PARTNERSHIP TO TACKLE GLOBAL WARMING
APRIL 26, 2018
ENVIRONMENT / TOURISM
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN Climate Change) have agreed a common agenda for climate action in tourism.
Agreed at the WTTC Global Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina last week, the partnership backs goals set by the Paris Agreement to maintain temperature levels at 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and the economic importance of tourism to the world’s economy (10% of GDP and one in 10 jobs), the Common Agenda sets out a framework for the two organisations to recognise and address the linkages between tourism and climate change.
Announcing the agreement, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change advised “this is the first time the tourism sector has actively engaged on a global level with the UN Climate agenda.
“We recognise that tourism has a huge role to play in addressing climate change. While climate change itself poses significant risks to some tourism destinations, in many of the most high-risk areas, tourism can provide opportunities for communities to build resilience to its impacts. At the same time, as a fast-growing sector, tourism has a responsibility to ensure this growth is sustainable and sits within the parameters set by the Paris Agreement.
The WTTC press release is available here
Sadly this partnership may add to the moral burden of climate scientists, who already accumulate substantial air miles attending conferences in exotic holiday destinations like Paris, Cancun and Davos.
Personal inspections of environmentally endangered eco-tourist hotspots will likely be required, maybe even a rota of permanent monitoring in the most sensitive locations, to ensure places of special ecological significance are properly preserved.