The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has gathered industry leaders at COP28 to highlight advances in implementing the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism.
Aligned with the global climate agenda, the declaration is now officially featured in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) global climate action portal.
Launched at COP25 in 2021, the Glasgow Declaration commits signatories to achieve net zero by 2050, accompanied by dedicated climate action plans.
At COP28 in Dubai:
- UNWTO presented the first Glasgow Declaration implementation report (2023). UNWTO said that 261 of 420 signatories who submitted reports have also submitted climate action plans.
- 70% of signatories who submitted plans will showcase CO₂ emissions measurement.
- The “transforming the way we travel” exhibition booth will feature notable signatories sharing diverse decarbonisation approaches.
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Concrete climate action for the sector
A COP28 side event focused on tourism’s tangible climate actions, showcasing emissions measurement, decarbonisation, regenerative strategies and innovative finance.
Participants included Iberostar Group, NOAH ReGen, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Radisson Hotel Group and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
UNWTO also released policy guidance for national tourism authorities, part of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, for public consultation.
UNWTO said in a statement that the “process involved the nomination of climate action focal points in 57 ministries of tourism, to support member states with capacity building on climate action.”
The growing impact of the Glasgow Declaration
As of November 2023, the Glasgow Declaration had gained 857 signatories worldwide, spanning every continent and more than 90 countries. Each commitment aligns with Paris Agreement goals, pledging to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. In addition, each signatory has agreed to publish a climate action plan and conduct annual transparent and public reporting on its implementation.
Recognition and sector impact
In acknowledgment of the tourism sector’s climate efforts, the Glasgow Declaration is now featured on UNFCCC’s global climate action platform.
UNWTO executive director Zoritsa Urosevic has urged member states to endorse the declaration, emphasising its role in aligning with the Paris Agreement commitments.