World Tourism Organization UNWTO has called for enhanced cooperation between the transport and tourism sectors to effectively transform tourism for climate action. This is coming on the heels of a landmark new report from UNWTO and the International Transport Forum, ITF which revealed that transport-related emissions from tourism are expected to account for 5.3% of all man-made CO2 emissions by 2030, up from 5% in 2016.
The report which was launched at an official side-event of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme during the UN Climate Summit, COP25 in Madrid, and themed “Transport Related CO2 Emissions of the Tourism Sector” presents the emissions produced by the different modes of tourism transport.
According to the report, transport-related CO2 emissions from tourism are predicted to increase from 1,597 million tonnes to 1,998 million tonnes between 2016 and 2030, representing a 25% rise.
During the same period, international and domestic arrivals are expected to increase from 20 billion to 37 billion, mainly driven by domestic tourism (from 18.8 billion to 35.6 billion), followed by international arrivals (1.2 billion to 1.8 billion).
Transport-related emissions from tourism represented 5% of all man-made emissions in 2016 and will increase to 5.3% by 2030.
Tourism-related transport emissions represented 22% of all transport emissions in 2016 and will continue doing so in 2030 (21%).
As a result, the report highlighted that Tourism’s transport-related CO2 emissions remain a major challenge and require stakeholders in the tourism sector to work closely with the transport sector in order to support its commitment to accelerate the decarbonization process and the implementation of a high ambition scenario.
The report recommended that the tourism sector must determine its own high ambition scenario while complementing the efforts of the transport sector. Here, tourism would advance towards significantly decoupling growth from emissions in order to grow within the international climate targets.
While presenting the report, UNWTO Executive Director Manuel Butler charged the tourism sector to effectively use data to play a leading role in addressing the climate emergency.
“This comprehensive study analyses the environmental impact of the different modes of transport within the tourism sector. It is now for the tourism sector, especially tourism policymakers to use data effectively and ensure the sector plays a leading role in addressing the climate emergency” he said.
Similarly, Ovais Sarmad, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) addressed the need to scale efforts towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“While tourism is mentioned in many Nationally Determined Contributions as a big concern, not enough has yet been done. The industry must do more, but governments must align their policies so that at the international level we can collectively work to increase ambition. The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme is a vital ongoing mechanism to promote sustainable tourism around the world” he added.