WTTC: A Net Zero Roadmap for Travel and Tourism

The report begins by acknowledging that ‘urgent action’ is needed if a devasting impact on economies and society is to be averted due to climate change.  It is noted that commitments need to be backed by concrete plans if they are to have meaning. 

Among the findings of the report are that currently there is huge variation in the extent to which travel and tourism sector businesses have adopted targets, their baselines, target metrics and target dates.  As such a call is made for regular and comparable insights regarding the sector’s emissions in order that these can be better monitored, and more effective prioritisation undertaken. 

The report cites research that ascribes between 8% and 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions to travel and tourism. 

Within the so-called target corridor framework key decarbonisation levers are described alongside actions that could be taken by each industry. 

The key elements of what is proposed are that  

  • the right baselines must be set for current emission levels and appropriate targets set for 2030 and 2050 
  • progress is monitored and regularly reported on 
  • there is collaboration between and within travel and tourism industries 
  • sufficient finance is made available in order that transition to net zero can be accomplished 
  •  the sector raises awareness and builds capacity to underpin how it tackles climate change 

It is suggested that by 2035 absolute emissions from travel and tourism will only decrease modestly, to approximately 80% of 2019 levels, but that a significant decarbonisation acceleration post-2035 should be expected.