Governments are being urged to develop climate change policies which ensure that travel and tourism can grow sustainably and continue to provide millions of new jobs across the planet.

The call came from the World Travel & Tourism Council to coincide with international climate change negotiations in Durban.

The WTTC believes a “concerted effort” is needed to develop a common solution that can be embraced by the industry, governments and consumers worldwide to tackle problems in a co-ordinated fashion.

“While progress in Durban would go a long way in providing clarity internationally, the responsibility still remains on national governments to develop the policies needed to ensure that the industry achieves low-carbon growth,” the WTTC said.

President and CEO David Scowsill said: “The travel and tourism industry recognises that everyone has a part to play in combating climate change.

“Leaders in the industry have already made a commitment to halve carbon emissions by 2035 – on 2005 levels – as set out in WTTC’s ‘Leading the Challenge on Climate Change’ report published in 2009, and there are many examples across the industry of how this is being achieved.

“Furthermore, the industry is also keen to be not only a partner to government but also a resource for policy development and implementation. Together, we can achieve a low-carbon, climate resilient world economy.”

The WTTC is calling for:
  • Supportive and progressive policy frameworks
  • Programmes which foster innovation
  • Investment in transparent reporting, measuring and verification systems
  • Incentives to promote efficiency improvements
  • Empowerment of citizens to purchase and consume responsibly
  • Inclusion of travel and tourism in mitigation and adaptation programmes.