ICAO 2013 Environmental Report - page 207

icao environmental report
Tourism and air transport have a symbiotic relationship.
In 2012, there were over one billion international tourists
travelling the world in one single year, spending as much
as US$ 1.3 trillion in the countries they visited. Over 50% of
them reached their destinations by air. On the other hand,
international air passengers, both business and leisure
travellers, are predominantly tourists.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) counts climate
change as a top priority among the many issues requiring
collaboration and coordination between tourism and air
transport. Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from travel
and tourism are estimated to contribute about 5% of global
emissions, of which air transport accounts for an
estimated 40%.
With this background, UNWTO and ICAO have long been
working together to tackle climate change. This work has
gained particular relevance since 2007 when UNWTO, along
with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), convened
the Second International Conference on Climate Change
and Tourism in Davos, to which key input on aviation was
provided by ICAO. The resulting
Davos Declaration
as a priority, the need to “mitigate emissions in transport,
in cooperation with ICAO and other aviation organizations”.
Yet, this objective can only be met if we address the issue
of climate change and air transport in the broader context
of tourism development. The 2010 UNWTO “
regarding mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from
air passenger transport
” that was presented to the
session of the ICAO Assembly called for an assessment
of mitigation measures in the context of broad-spectrum
tourism, rather than of air transport in isolation, considering
the social and economic costs and benefits of travel and
tourism in cohesion with climate change mitigation impacts.
It particularly highlighted the importance of alleviating
the impacts that these measures might have on tourism
destinations, notably long-haul developing, and particularly,
least-developed and island countries where tourism depends
on air transport. UNWTO also calls for a non-duplication of
emissions levies on transport and other tourism activities.
For example, as a result of the application by more than
one authority, or through different overlapping regimes
such as taxation and emissions trading.
Climate change is one of the key issues included in
the 2010 UNWTO/ICAO Memorandum of Cooperation
and in the recently released Joint Statement in which
the two organizations agreed to work together with the
aim of “Contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions from aviation and tourism”. It is in this framework
that UNWTO remains fully committed to providing a tourism
perspective to ICAO’s ongoing policy making and the
continuing debate on air transport and climate change.
Taleb Rifai
He was elected as Secretary-
General of the World Tourism
Organization (UNWTO) in October
2009 and begun his four-year term
on 1 January 2010.
UNWTO and ICAO: A collaborative Approach On
Tourism, Air Transport and Climate Change
Taleb Rifai
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