UN Climate Change News, 31 January 2018 - The UN is working with the global hotel industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make the industry more sustainable, in line both the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the UN’s Global Goals.
The International Tourism Partnership (ITP), a global organization bringing together the world’s most powerful hotel companies with 30,000 member hotels has meanwhile embraced the ambition of the science-based targets that are at the heart of the Paris Agreement.
The central target of the agreement is to hold the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Achieving this goal is essential to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, including fires, flooding and water shortages which threaten the tourism industry in many parts of the world.
The hotel industry already accounts for around 1% (source: UNWTO) of global emissions and this is set to increase as the demand continues to grow.
Research commissioned by ITP highlights that the hotel industry must reduce its carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 to stay within the 2˚C threshold agreed at COP21.
Following the Paris Agreement, ITP has been working with its members to translate these targets into a realistic roadmap.
The result is the ITP Goals, a clear and practical response to the core sustainability issues the hotel industry is facing. The goals send a strong call to action to the wider industry and emphasize the critical importance of using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a focal point to drive sustainable growth.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the first of the goals the ITP intends to meet by 2030. The goals are:
• CARBON: Embrace science-based targets, and encourage the wider industry to reduce carbon emissions at scale.
• YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: Open the industry to one million young people by 2030 through employability programmes, thereby doubling the industry’s current impact on youth unemployment.
• WATER: Create water stewardship programmes to reduce the number of people affected by water scarcity; improve water-use efficiency and identify ways to address water scarcity.
• HUMAN RIGHTS: Raise awareness of human rights risks, include human rights into corporate governance, and address risks arising in the labour supply chain and during hotel construction.
ITP encourages hotels to use its Hotel Footprinting Tool to get a precise overview of their carbon emissions, in order to identify areas of improvement for each facility. In the 2017 “Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report”, ITP highlights the importance of increasing energy efficiency, expanding the prevalence of renewable energy, and increasing “electrification” of equipment (as opposed to “fuel burning”).
Fran Hughes, Director of the International Tourism Partnership said “As one of the fastest growing global industries, travel and tourism need to play its role in the Paris Climate Agreement and UNFCCC climate change process. We must, and will, play our part. ITP’s Goal on carbon sends a clear sign to the industry that the only credible carbon targets going forward are those embedded in science.”
Niclas Svenningsen, head of the Climate Neutral Now initiative at the UNFCCC secretariat, said “the hospitality industry can play a huge role in enhancing the environmental performance of its many properties and locations, but also to raise awareness among the public due to its enormous reach. We feel encouraged to see leading hotel chains worldwide spearheading these efforts.”
Twitter: @ITP_News #ITPGoals. https://www.tourismpartnership.org/itp-goals/