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New Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism Launched

New Glasgow Declaration
Written by Linda S. Hohnholz

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.

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  1. Both announcements place Travel Foundation at the forefront of efforts ensuring tourism businesses and destinations can rapidly decarbonize, adapt to climate change, and support ecosystem regeneration. 
  2. Travel Foundation and UNWTO are pursuing partnerships to accelerate aims of the initiative.
  3. They are also pushing ambitions of the Glasgow Declaration at a scale to meet global climate goals. 

The launch of the Glasgow Declaration at COP26 on November 4 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 organizations 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 organizations 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 organization and partnering with UNWTO to steward the Glasgow Declaration initiative forward, the Travel Foundation cements its leading role as a go-to organization for climate action in tourism. It will initiate a program 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 Program 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. 

Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, said: “The Glasgow Declaration isn’t just a pledge – it is a commitment to take action to halve tourism’s emissions by 2030, and to report on progress made each year. It’s vital we start with the right ambition, but then the hard work really begins. Being part of the Travel Foundation allows us to take our efforts to the next level for global impact.” 

Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, said: “We know we must collaborate and scale-up like never before, connecting both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches by galvanising community action and creating levers for change across governments and corporations. Tourism’s transition to climate positive is also about tourism’s transformation more generally, shifting to a more equitable model that balances the needs of residents and businesses while managing and reducing its burden on destinations.” 

The Travel Foundation and Tourism Declares will be participating in an official COP26 online event to mark the launch of the Glasgow Declaration, on Thursday, November 4, at 1400-1600 GMT alongside partners VisitScotland, NECSTouR and the Future of Tourism Coalition. You can register to join and take part in the discussion here

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About the author

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda Hohnholz has been the editor in chief for eTurboNews for many years.
She loves to write and pays attention to details.
She is also in charge of all premium content and press releases.

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