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European Travel Commission Launches Climate Action Plan

European Travel Commission Launches Climate Action Plan
  • ETC committed to developing its own Climate Action Plan in May 2022, when it signed the Glasgow Declaration launched at COP 26
  • The organisation plans to halve its operational emissions by 2030 and to support its members on the journey to Net Zero

Today, the European Travel Commission (ETC) is launching its Climate Action Plan. To address the urgency of climate action, the plan commits to halve emissions generated by ETC’s operations by 2030, as well as to support engagement in climate action among its member National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), and lead the way for tourism stakeholders in Europe.

As a signatory of the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, ETC understands that the relationship between tourism and climate change is unquestionable. The tourism industry has both a responsibility and an opportunity to protect the resources it depends on, including the natural environments, wildlife, and cultural heritage that bring travel experiences to life.

Speaking on the launch of ETC’s Climate Action Plan, ETC President Luís Araújo said, “Addressing the challenges of climate change, building a more resilient and regenerative sector, and restoring and revitalising destination resources should be a priority and responsibility for all tourism stakeholders. With this comprehensive plan, ETC not only strives to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations, but also to empower ETC members to take bold climate action and inspire the industry towards impactful initiatives.” 

The Climate Action Plan was presented at the ETC General Meeting #105 in Tallinn, hosted by Visit Estonia. This year, Tallinn holds the title of the European Green Capital, thanks to its commitment to biodiversity, sustainable governance, and climate and green innovation.

Navigating the path towards Net Zero

At an operational level, ETC will focus on reducing the footprint caused by its operating activities, targeting its emissions hotspots: business travel, events, and FAM and influencers’ trips. The organisation’s goal is to reach Net Zero before 2050.

Through its Climate Action Plan, ETC also aims to leverage its role as an umbrella organisation for NTOs in Europe. ETC will catalyse and support its national members to commit to a green transition, by building opportunities for collective action in Europe and providing technical support regarding the shift to Net Zero.

A few key initiatives included in the Climate Action Plan are as follows:

  • An annual 7% reduction of emissions to reach the 2030 intermediate target
  • Establishment of a Climate Action Working Group within the organisation
  • Development of a plan to improve skills and knowledge of ETC members in climate action
  • Creation of an online platform for ETC members to share best practice examples, case studies and tools for climate action

Leading on climate action in tourism industry

Due to its unique position at the crossroads between public and private tourism networks, ETC has an exciting opportunity to drive the journey towards Net Zero for the tourism industry in Europe. The Climate Action Plan outlines ETC’s commitment to leading by example and raising awareness in the industry on climate action. The organisation aims to promote the urgency of a green transition in tourism, boost cooperation among tourism stakeholders and accelerate climate actions at a global level.

The ETC’s Climate Action Plan was developed with the support of the Travel Foundation, a leading international sustainable tourism organisation.

Snapshot of ETC’s Climate Action Plan is available here