What Can the Travel Industry Do to Fight Global Warming?

A global campaign to help the travel industry respond to climate change, reduce its carbon footprint, and move toward a Green Economy was launched at the Copenhagen Climate Summit Monday in Denmark.

Called Live the Deal, it represents a new commitment to reducing the carbon footprint. “The targets and mitigation actions that countries develop and negotiate through this process will be a new base for travel industry action,” says green tourism campaigner Geoffrey Lipman, assistant secretary general, United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO).

“What we are providing is a very simple way to get behind the evolving government initiatives, to keep pace with changing patterns, and to demonstrate that our sector is acting, not simply talking. We should not be ashamed to promote the growth of smart travel – clean, green, ethical, and quality. It’s the lifeblood of trade, commerce, and human connection.”

Developed with the support of the UNTWO, Live the Deal follows the Seal the Deal pattern established at the conference. It is “the kind of link between global policymaking and responsible tourism action that we are looking to inspire and encourage,” says Taleb Rifai, secretary general, UNWTO.

“Our sector fuels the economy, creates jobs, and is one of the biggest development opportunities for the world’s poorest countries – and it can be a leader in the transformation to a green economy.”

The campaign will be underpinned by a simple carbon calculation tool that allows easy correlation with government targets and implementation measures as well as a Think Tank and Annual Innovations and Investment Summit, which will be held in Abu Dhabi. The initiative will be promoted by a multimedia video “We can take this Climate Change” from platinum album songwriter and singer Alston Koch, which will be launched around the world in next year.

“This initiative is timely, welcome, and makes an important commitment to the vital process of culture change,” saysGreg Duffell, CEO, the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

“Our industry must recognize its responsibilities and make a substantive contribution to carbon reduction. We welcome the objectives set by Greenearth.Travel, and we will be encouraging all our members to fully support this initiative.”

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