Travel industry backs strong Paris climate deal

The cruise ship industry aims to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent in the next 15 years. @bberwyn photo.

Airline industry committed to cutting CO2 emissions 50 percent by 2050

By Bob Berwyn

World travel leaders say they’re on board with efforts to finalize a meaningful global climate agreement at the ongoing COP21 talks in Paris.

Highlighting the economic opportunities that the travel industry creates, several major international organizations reiterated the industry’s commitment to contribute to fight climate change.“The travel and tourism sector expresses its hope for a successful outcome to the talks in Paris and reiterates that our organizations, working together as the Global Travel Association Coalition, are committed to make a meaningful and long-term contribution to fighting climate change,” said David Scowsill, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

“Travel and tourism contributes nearly 10 percent of the world’s GDP and supports one in eleven of all jobs on the planet. Over one billion people cross international borders each year, a number expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030.” Scowsill said. “We have a serious responsibility to ensure that we decouple the growth of the sector from its impact on our environment to ensure that tourism can continue to contribute to socio-economic inclusiveness and development in the long term.”

In a press release, the organizations highlighted the comittments they’ve already made to alleviating climate change:


The aviation industry and the International Civil Aviation Organization  have set aligned goals of improving fuel efficiency and stabilizing net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020 through carbon neutral growth. The aviation industry also set a long-term goal to halve aviation’s net CO2 emissions by 2050, compared with a 2005 baseline.

Since the above goals were set, ICAO member states and the aviation industry have been working to make them a reality through the implementation of a basket of different measures which include new technology and alternative fuels; improved operations; better use of infrastructure; and the development of a global market-based measure to enable the industry to stabilize its CO2 emissions from 2020.

ICAO is also developing an Aeroplane CO2 Emission Certification Standard that will be established in 2016. Through invaluable partnerships and cooperation with the aviation industry and other organizations, half of ICAO’s Member States have prepared and submitted national action plans to reduce aviation CO2 emissions to ICAO.

Airports around the world have also adopted an Airport Carbon Accreditation program, developed by ACI EUROPE in 2009 for airports to achieve self-determination in setting and meeting rigorous environmental standards, went fully global last year with 135 airports participating in the program to date.


  • Building new cruise ships with energy efficiency design standards for a 30 percent reduction in CO2 by 2030.
    Implementing Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans for route planning and maintenance to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions since 2013,
  • Utilizing special lighting to reduce power consumption by up to 20 percent
    Painting hulls with special coatings to reduce fuel consumption by 5 percent

The World Travel & Tourism Council  says the the sector is committed to cutting its CO2 emissions by 50 percent from 2005 to 2035. Earlier this month, this commitment was reiterated in new report: “Travel & Tourism 2015 – Connecting Global Climate Action.”


2 thoughts on “Travel industry backs strong Paris climate deal

  1. Reblogged this on ARTEMIS and commented:
    While the big show at COP21 in Paris is addressing the big picture of how to address Climate Change, I often forget the work individual groups and industries are doing to address it. The Travel Industry has a lot to lose if we don’t curb destruction of the climate, especially when the result increasing sea levels and violent weather patterns. The industry could play a a similar role gasoline providers did during the Clean Air Act debates in the United States, as well as Dupont when it lobbied for the Montreal Protocols. Buy-in from the private sector is crucial to getting national governments onboard, especially the US Congress. Republican lawmakers have pledged to block and roll back clean air regulations, regardless of a deal in Paris.

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