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May 15, 2021

Some Thoughts from ICTP for Earth Day 2016

Professor Geoffrey Lipman President ICTP

The first Earth Day back in 1970 had a famous slogan “We have caught sight of the Enemy and he is Us”.  4 decades later we finally hav a global 2030 Sustainability Plan (the SDG’s) and 2050 Climate Resilience framework in the making. Make no mistake, this is the start of an incredibly massive measuring, regulating and market making process that stretches into every aspect of human activity.

But in all of the 17 SDG’s with 169 Targets and 304 Indicators (already) only 1 is existential repeat existential – Climate Change. If we don’t fix that our grandchildren get battered by weather and planetary upheavals that are so savage, unpredictable and continuous that nothing else really matters. The IPCC scientists say that we need to get to a stabilized temperature of no more than 20 C by 2050 but the smart money says 1.50.

This is not yet on the global action radar screen and the Travel & Tourism world is behind the sustainability leadership curve – despite the fact that our core products are so exposed and vulnerable to extreme weather, natural disasters and resource debilitation. These are the very patterns that Climate Change is increasingly delivering, with much of the pain focused on prime tourism locations.

ICTP intends to play its part in the industry response by refocusing it’s Green Growth and Quality activity on Climate Resilience. Working with the SUN Program www.thesunprogram.com, we will create national chapters of interested stakeholders to help deliver model climate resilience programs at the local level. Green Growth will remain at the heart of our activity but the vector will be through Travel & Tourism impacts, in a climate resilient way.

Our main points of focus will be on Full balance sheet numbers – linking Environment and Satellite Tourism Accounting, Local level transformation – bringing global best practice into play and a No carbon 2050 Aviation Moon-shot – to ensure that air transport, our core supply system has adequate supplies of biofuels to reduce its fossil fuel demand to zero.

Our message is simply Travel & Tourism is essential – Climate Change is existential.

ICTP (International Coalition of Tourism Partners) April 22nd 2016

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