Tourism industry to cut CO2 emissions by 50% by 2035

Many of the world’s biggest travel and tourism companies have improved their carbon efficiency by 20% in the last ten years and are on course to cut CO2 emissions by 50% by 2035, according to World Travel & Tourism Council.

WTTC-Travel-&-Tourism-2015-Connecting-Global-Climate-ActionTheir new report, Travel & Tourism; Connecting Global Climate Action, outlines the preparedness of the sector for climate change alleviation measures and demonstrates the progress that has been made by the world’s leading airlines, airports, hotels, cruise lines, car rental companies and technology companies in the last decade.

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) concludes that the world’s biggest travel and tourism companies, as represented by its members, are:

  • 20% more carbon efficient today than they were in 2005
  • On course to cut CO2 emissions by 50% from 2005 to 2035
  • On course to reach the target of 25% reduction by 2020

In 2015, travel and tourism is forecast to contribute almost 10% of world GDP and 1 in 11 of all jobs on the planet. The strength of the sector is due to continue for the next decade at almost 4% per annum. With such robust growth, travel and tourism’s relationship to climate change becomes critical.

In advance of the COP21 climate change talks in Paris in December, WTTC provides an update to its ground-breaking 2009 report “Leading the Challenge on Climate Change”, which first identified the 50% by 2035 target. Since 2009 the sector has seen real commitment to sustainability from business as companies innovate and collaborate with others to reduce their overall impacts.

WTTC members are investing heavily in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, are protecting valuable ecosystems and have been building awareness of their actions among stakeholders and customers. The majority of WTTC members are publicly disclosing their efforts through various means of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting.

Progress in the next 20 years will be characterised by the sector fully integrating climate change and related issues into business strategy, supporting the global transition to a low carbon economy, strengthening resilience at a local level against climate risks, promoting the value of responsible travel, and greening entire supply chains.

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