How well tourism is fighting climate change, and what you can do today to help
This article is part of the “Sustainable tourism insights” interview series with speakers and participants of the Green Destinations Conference in Athens, Greece held in September 2022.
Jeremy Smith is the Co-Founder of Tourism Declares Climate Change and Climate Specialist at the Travel Foundation. Anula Galewska, Travindy’s Managing Director, asked Jeremy to give a brief update on Tourism Declares Climate Change and other key climate initiatives in the travel sector.
Jeremy says that the Covid pandemic helped push the climate agenda and brought the industry together to collaborate and work on meaningful climate actions. Tourism Declares Climate Emergency co-founded by Jeremy back in January 2020 was one of the significant steps. From 14 founding organisations declaring climate emergency, the initiative expanded to 400 organisations committed to combat climate crises. The initiative was later supported by the UNWTO, UNEP and The Travel Foundation, which all came to Scotland where the Glasgow Declaration was signed by 700 participants from around the world.
However, raising awareness is not the main goal of the organization. “If we are still in the awarness raising stage in 2022, we haven’t got much time to live” – Jeremy says. Now the main focus is on taking action, mainly reducing global carbon emissions in half by 2030. That is why the Glasgow Declaration is about commitment to action and plans that will be reported on an annual basis to follow the progress.
Talking about specific practices that any big or small tourism business can implement, Jeremy suggests decarbonization of the energy systems by giving preference to companies that finance alternative energy sources rather than fossil fuels.
Climate change is such a broad and important topic that we agreed for one more interview, where (in a more quiet) space, Jeremy will answer all our climate questions. Stay tuned!
Watch the interview with Jeremy Smith:
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