Governments, travel companies and tourism boards need to work more closely if the tourism industry is to reach its net zero carbon emissions targets from 2030 onwards, according to a new report.
The study – by independent charity the Travel Foundation – calls for travel companies focus more on short-haul customers; the transport sector to increase their investment in greener forms of transport; and for governments to include aviation emissions in their national climate action plans.
Greener transport options – like rail, electric vehicles and ferries – should also be pushed by travel firms and tourist boards.
Currently, aviation emissions aren’t included in national climate action plans. This must change, the report said, if further investment in emission-curbing projects are to be encouraged.
Long-haul flights could see their emissions quadruple by 2050 – accounting for more than 40% of total tourism emissions, but only 4% of journeys – the report warns.
“We share a view of the value of the travel and tourism industry, and a desire to ensure it can continue to grow in an equitable way,” said Alix Farr, sustainability chief at Edinburgh-based travel agency Skyscanner in an interview with the Business Green website.
“But, this report makes it clearer than ever: we must keep asking ourselves the hard questions and pursuing urgent and transformative solutions in order to reach our very ambitious – but critically important – goals for 2030,” she said.