Climate Friendly Travel and Tourism

By Hans Friederich
GOZO, Malta, Oct 28 2020 (IPS-Partners)

SUNx Malta, a not-for-profit organization, based in Malta is
advancing and enabling “Climate Friendly Travel” which is
tourism and travel that is Low-Carbon and linked to the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) and follows the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree
trajectory.

Hans Friederich

Together with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the 2019
Global Climate Action State of the Sector Report produced by SUN
Malta noted the limited engagement of travel & tourism
stakeholders in the global climate discussions, although the sector
is responsible for 10% of global GDP.

While there are many hopeful statements, there is not much
substance in many of the ambitions of the sector. To fill this gap,
SUNx Malta brought together a think tank of international experts
in travel and tourism in early 2020 to discuss how best to effect
transformation to climate friendly travel. My report on the meeting
can be accessed here:https://hansfriederich.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/the-existential-climate-crisis-requires-even-more-urgent-action-by-the-entire-global-travel-tourism-sector-than-has-been-generally-recognized-to-date/.

The findings of the report embraced a wide range of issues, one
of the identified priorities being education of the next generation
of travel and tourism practitioners. As a response, SUNx Malta has
started an international Climate Friendly Travel Graduate Diploma
with the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS) in Malta. The
2020/2021 course is delivered through the internet, in the face of
the COVID 19 travel restrictions. It is hoped that in the coming
years students will be on site in the ITS Campus on the island of
Gozo, Malta. Most of the current students come from Small Island
States and from the African continent. It is expected that they
will return to their current employers and become trainers in their
own right. This will eventually create a world-wide group of
100,000 Travel and Tourism Climate Champions by 2030.

SUNx Malta has also created a global Registry for 2050 Climate
Neutral and Sustainability Ambitions to be the travel & tourism
entry point into the United Nations Climate Action Portal. The idea
of a climate reduction ambitions registry for Nations was built
into the 2015 Paris Agreement and this was extended to non-state
actors like regions, cities and companies. After we realized the
limited engagement of travel & tourism stakeholders, we reached
agreement with the Climate Change Convention to create a discreet
travel and tourism climate change ambitions registry. The Climate
Friendly Travel Registry was launched on 25 September during the
climate week that formed part of the 2020 United Nations General
Assembly programme. With effect from 1 October 2020, I have the
honor of being the Registrar of this new Registry.

As a catalyst, the Registry will be open to all travel &
tourism companies and communities, whether or not they have created
a 2050 Carbon Neutral Ambition yet. It will cover transport,
hospitality, travel service and infrastructure providers – from
the smallest to the largest.

Registrants who are still developing their carbon reduction
strategy will have two years to benefit from on-line knowledge and
support systems. Those who have already embarked on a 2050 Plan
will be able to readily incorporate those details in the Registry,
with little or no extra work. They can cross-reference any other
mainstream carbon reduction initiative they are already involved
with, as the SUNx MaltaRegistry is complementary to such other
initiatives.

As the new Registrar, I think there are four very compelling
reasons for a tourism company or community to register their carbon
reduction ambitions:

Responsively: Everyone should make
efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. The potential customers
of the company are increasingly doing this and they are expecting
it from the company as well. Recording the plans on the Registry
is a way to show the good intentions
;
Economically: Reducing the carbon footprint will
reduce operational costs, as daily CO2 emissions are typically a
result from electricity use. In addition, registration can be
used for branding and advertising purposes
.
Politically: All countries are preparing their
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Climate Change
Convention, and the private sector has been asked to contribute.
Our register is the only official registry for tourism and
travel that is recognized by the Convention
;
Strategically: Some countries are already
preparing national legislation to enforce climate action, and this
will eventually become law throughout the world. Registering
your ambitions now will put you in a stronger position to have a
full plan when it becomes a legal obligation
;

I hope that many small and large tourism and travel companies
and communities will sign up to show their commitment to climate
action, and to highlight their particular ambitions.

For more information about the Registry, go to: https://climatefriendly.travel/
More information about the Diploma course is available here:

https://its.edu.mt/courses-admission/32-courses-admission/468-diploma-in-climate-friendly-travel.html

A report of the launch is available here:
https://travelcommunication.net/featured/sunx-malta-launches-climate-friendly-travel-registry/
.

The author is a member of the Board of SUNx
Malta

The post Climate
Friendly Travel and Tourism
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Climate Friendly Travel and Tourism