At the COP26 Climate Summit this week, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, an initiative to support climate action, will announce it has become the flagship climate programme of the Travel Foundation. In addition, the Travel Foundation will unveil its unique role in providing ongoing support for the newly launched “Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism”, working in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations.
Both announcements place the Travel Foundation, a leading tourism NGO, at the forefront of efforts to ensure tourism businesses and destinations can rapidly decarbonise, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. The Travel Foundation and UNWTO are now pursuing high-impact partnerships to accelerate the aims of the Tourism Declares initiative and the ambitions of the Glasgow Declaration at the scale needed to meet global climate goals.
The launch of the Glasgow Declaration at COP26 on 4 November marks a significant milestone for climate action in tourism. Both Tourism Declares and the Travel Foundation were members of the five-party Drafting Committee for the Declaration – a global commitment for all organisations in travel and tourism to cut sector emissions in half by 2030, to align climate action plans across five “pathways”, and to report publicly on progress made.
All organisations in travel and tourism are encouraged to support the Declaration, and Tourism Declares’ role will be to advocate for, and catalyse, accelerated climate action with an emphasis on climate equity and resilience, and the needs of destination communities.
By bringing Tourism Declares within its organisation and partnering with UNWTO to steward the Glasgow Declaration initiative forward, the Travel Foundation cements its leading role as a go-to organisation for climate action in tourism. It will initiate a programme of activities focused on activities such as:
- Publishing an annual progress report for the Glasgow Declaration, providing analysis on who has signed the Declaration, and how they are advancing with their commitments.
- Developing consistent, sector-wide approaches to carbon measurement and reporting.
- Road-testing new ways to tackle the complex, shared responsibilities under ‘scope 3’ (value chain) emissions, which largely occur within destinations.
- Strengthening collaboration and community – for instance through the Tourism Declares online community and volunteer network, and the planned formation of regional hubs.
- Building the capacity of Glasgow Declaration signatories, and scaling the necessary knowledge, tools, and inspiration needed for sector-wide change
The Travel Foundation will also lead the coordination of an Advisory Committee for the Glasgow Declaration that will convene within the framework of the UN’s One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme to ensure that diversity, equity and climate science are at the heart of this initiative. The climate reporting process linked to the Glasgow Declaration will also be managed through the One Planet Network.