The independent, science-based Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) had
its first public open discussion with more than 350 travel and tourism academic
researchers on July 6, the second day of the Surrey 2023 Conference, “Back For
Professor Daniel Scott, who chaired the session, described the audience
engagement at the event as “very encouraging and visibly more advanced than even five years ago”, and the widespread support for TPCC from the academic community as “a very strong validation of the research program, with great buy-in”.
The 350+ travel & tourism stakeholders were reminded that a stocktake of the state
of climate change risk for travel & tourism, and progress in the sector progress toward its commitments is the first key deliverable expected of the TPCC.
The first TPCC Stocktake provides a sectoral contribution to the United Nations
Climate Change Stocktake process that all countries and many non-state actors are
completing it in 2023.
The indicators developed by TPCC experts — on climate change’s physical risks,
adaptive responses, emissions, and mitigation actions were the focus of a TPCC
workshop and discussion with conference delegates.
The Stocktake will set a benchmark against which TPCC’s future analyses of travel
& tourism’s collective climate response will be measured.
The TPPC plans to publish its Stocktake in conjunction with the United Nations
Climate Change Conference (COP28) in November.
“Our objective at the Surrey Conference was to seek critical academic support for
our programme of science-based information gathering and reporting is aimed at policymakers,” explained TPCC executive board member Geoffrey Lipman.
”We believe this was highly successful, and thank the many delegates we engaged
with over the conference.”
The panel discussion featured:
● Professor Daniel Scott, the University of Waterloo and the University of Surrey, described the details of the Stocktake and the extensive work with tourism experts and climate scientists to identify and catalog key indicators across the entire sector and global community.
● Professor Geoffrey Lipman, SUNx Malta, and STGC, spoke about the incubation of the TPCC in the Saudi Arabian Sustainable Tourism Global Centre (STGC) and its establishment as an independent mechanism for the sector as a whole. He referenced the deep commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to use sustainable tourism as a societal transformation vehicle, with the STGC, for which Prof Lipman is an Envoy, playing a pivotal role.
● Dr Debbie Hopkins, University of Oxford, said that the climate crisis is both an environmental and social challenge. The former can be increasingly seen in the physical consequences of intensifying, unpredictable heat and precipitation patterns. The latter on the effect on human livelihoods; refugees, and food and drinking water supply. Tourism will be centrally impacted.
● Dr Johanna Loehr, Griffith Institute for Tourism, talked about the need for holistic approaches that improve integration between the tourism and climate change policy domains, and which address deeper changes to the design, structure, and intent of the tourism system.
● Professor Xavier Font, University of Surrey, drawing from his earlier keynote presentation, said that attempts to consider business as usual, with questionable offsetting, will simply fail as the crisis intensifies. He reiterated that good marketing requires an authentic product otherwise it creates greenwash when public interest in such issues is rapidly increasing.
Sixty-six leading climate scientists and tourism experts are taking stock ahead of COP28
On July 4, two days before the Surrey panel, the majority of TPCC’s scientists and
experts participated in a live and online meetings to advance work on the Stocktake.
The TPCC has gathered 66 leading climate scientists and tourism experts from
around the world who are actively contributing to the Stocktake and also to TPCC’s
mission to support tourism’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and
climate-resilient development, in line with Paris Climate Agreement targets.
Supporting this work are data analysis specialists ForwardKeys of Spain and data
visualization specialists Murmuration of France, who will help present the information in ways that will boost comprehension and aid decision and policy making.
The Stocktake will present all the positive and negative tourism change indicators
that will serve as performance benchmarks for responsive travel & tourism climate
action in the future.
The TPCC will formally present the Stocktake at the United Nations Climate Change
Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates in November 2023.
Next year (2024), the TPCC will deliver its first Science assessment, a comprehensive review and analysis of what we know about tourism and climate change based on all of the scientific literature and other knowledge it has gathered.
The TPCC Science Assessment will also identify scenarios and change actions for
policymakers and sector stakeholders.
The Assessment will interrogate the intersection of climate and tourism in relation to the Paris 1.5°C scenario as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change’s (IPCC’s) latest assessments and recommendations on emissions
About the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC): Identifying knowledge gaps and building capacity for change
The Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) is a neutral body of more than 60
tourism and climate scientists and experts who will provide a current-state
assessment of the sector and objective metrics for public and private sector decision-makers worldwide.
It will produce regular assessments in line with the UNFCCC COP programs and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Inspired by the IPCC, the TPCC was created by the Saudi Arabia-based Sustainable
Tourism Global Center (STGC) to operate independently and impartially, and to build
capacity to provide leading science to inform tourism and climate action across the world.
Launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm
El-Sheikh in November 2022, the TPCC is designed to meet the urgent need for
trusted peer-reviewed information on the interaction between tourism and climate
TPCC’s mission is “to inform and rapidly advance science-based climate action
across the global tourism system in support of the goals of the Paris Climate
Under the leadership of the TPCC’s Executive Board — Professors Daniel Scott
(Canada), Susanne Becken (Australia), and Geoffrey Lipman (Belgium) — 66 leading
Scientists and experts from around the world are contributing to outputs that support tourism’s transition to net-zero emissions and climate-resilient development.
The 66 climate scientists and tourism experts contribute to TPCC’s three working
groups, which are focused on climate change adaptation, emissions reduction, and
tourism policy and planning.
Finally, the work is supported by an advisory board drawn from the STGC along
with representatives of the tourism sector’s diverse stakeholders, in order to provide a further support and engagement network.
In addition to Stocktakes and Science Assessments, TPCC also produces Horizon
Papers based on strategic knowledge gaps it identifies.
At its launch at COP27, the TPCC published its first two Horizon Papers.
aviation emissions and financial risk.
Contact: [email protected]