WTTC unveils first global climate footprint data for travel and tourism

WTTC and Sustainable Global Tourism Center in Saudi Arabia launch inaugural environmental and social research

Between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s GDP grew by an average of 4.3% annually, while its climate footprint grew by just 2.4%

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today unveiled groundbreaking new data detailing the climate footprint of the global Travel & Tourism sector.

The findings were released today at the 22nd headquarters of the world tourism bodywhen The global summit in Riyadh by the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Sustainable Global Tourism Center.

In a world first, this comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated every year with the latest figures.

During her opening speech Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC announced the findings of the Environmental and Social Research (ESR). In one of the largest research projects of its kind ever undertaken, WTTC can, for the first time, accurately report and track the impact that industries in this sector have on the environment.

Previous estimates suggested that the global travel and tourism sector was responsible for up to 11% of all emissions. However, WTTC’s pioneering research shows that in 2019 the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions totaled just 8.1% globally.

The economic growth divergence of the climate footprint sector between 2010 and 2019 is evidence that the economic growth of Travel & Tourism is decoupled from its greenhouse gas emissions.

These emissions have decreased steadily since 2010, as a result of technological developments as well as the introduction of a number of energy efficiency measures across all industries in the sector.

Between 2010 and 2019, our sector’s GDP grew by an average of 4.3% annually, while our environmental footprint grew by just 2.4%.

The wider environmental and social research (ESR) will include measures of the sector’s impact against a range of indicators including pollutants, energy sources, water use, as well as social data including age, wage and gender profiles of employment related to travel and tourism. .

WTTC will continue to announce new data on how the sector is doing against these indicators throughout 2023.

Governments around the world now have a tool to inform their decision-making and accelerate environmental change more precisely.

Julia SimpsonPresident and CEO of WTTC, said: “Until now we have not had a sector-wide way to accurately measure the climate footprint. This data will give governments the detailed information they need to make progress on the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. .

“Travel and tourism are making huge strides towards decarbonisation, but governments need to set the framework. We need a firm focus on increasing sustainable aviation fuel production with government incentives. The technology exists. We also need greater use of renewable energy in our countries. networks – so when we turn on a light in a hotel room, it uses a sustainable energy source.

“8.1% is the field stake. The key is to become more efficient and decouple the rate at which we grow from the amount of energy we consume today, every decision, every change, will lead to a better and brighter future for all.”

Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, HE Ahmed Al-Khateebadded: “We are proud to be a partner of the WTTC in this important research which will monitor the impact for the future. Saudi Arabia recognizes that travelers and investors want policies that promote sustainability in the industry and we have embarked on a journey that will make the Kingdom a pioneer in sustainable tourism.

“Under the Saudi Green Initiative, we have launched more than 60 initiatives over the past year to do just that. The first wave of initiatives represents more than 186 billion dollars of investments in the green economy”.

About the World Travel and Tourism Council
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global private travel and tourism sector. Members include 200 CEOs, presidents and chairmen of leading travel and tourism companies from all geographies, covering all industries. For more than 30 years, the WTTC has been committed to raising the awareness of governments and the public about the economic and social significance of the travel and tourism sector.

SOURCE World Travel and Tourism Council

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