This is an open letter challenge to Hotel and Travel Company Owners and Operators to take urgent action now to commit to sustainability, be carbon neutral by 2025 and support the 17 Global Goals.
We have all heard the bad news. According to the science accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with today’s emission levels, we are projected to reach 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels by 2028 … this is in 8 years! It will arrive sooner if we do not drastically reduce our emissions and if unforeseen warming is amplified. IPCC warned that reaching 2°C (35.6°F) will severely destabilise our climate and worsen the climate extremes we are already experiencing today.
If tourism is a country, it would be the 4th largest emitter of carbon in the world. Growing at 3-5% annually, it contributes 8% to global carbon emissions with 20% from our industry. By 2025, tourism is projected to contribute 12% to global emissions. (Source: University of Sydney Research).
Tourism is on the rise with 1.4 billion international travellers in 2018 and by 2030, it will exceed 1.8 billion travellers. Add local travel to this and we contribute massively in both a positive and negative way. Lifestyles with travel use more from nature every year than our planet can re-new and we are emitting more carbon into the atmosphere than our overharvested forests can remove. Tourism is a good development tool but it comes at a cost, competes with local population for resources, leaves a trail of pollution and comes with a carbon footprint to bring travellers there.
Most hotels are doing the bare minimum in order to claim with creative PR that they have become more sustainable. Few hotels are truly accountable and transparent around sustainability and even fewer have committed to be carbon neutral and support the 17 global goals. Today, our stakeholders are aware of this and they are calling out the lack of action and greenwash.
NOW defines sustainability as development and action that takes responsibility for our total impact on people and planet, to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Our industry needs to grasp the urgency of the climate crisis, fundamentally change attitudes and behaviour, and “do the right thing” to help our industry thrive and rebuild the trust which brands are largely failing. This can be achieved by raising our ambitions, committing to sustainability with full accountability and transparency, doing our fair share to get down to real zero emissions and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
We are running out of time. It must be NOW!
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