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What you need to know about COP26

© Good Travel Guide, October 2021

The Conference of the Parties, or COP, is the name of the global climate summit organized yearly by the UN. This year the twenty-sixth COP will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November. This is an occasion for world leaders, negotiators and government representatives to come together and focus on discussing climate change.

At COP21all countries committed to limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, signing what is known as the Paris Agreement. However, what has been done so far is not enough to honour this commitment. Making a change within 2030 is crucial otherwise there will be more catastrophic flooding, extreme weather, bush fires, and destruction of species in the future. COP26 will allow countries to meet and discuss the measures that need to be adopted to keep the goal within reach.

Such measures include accelerating the phase-out of coal, speeding up the switch to electric vehicles, protecting and restoring ecosystems and curtailing deforestation and their implementation will necessitate the mobilization of both public and private finance. Most of all, reaching the established goals will require the cooperation of governments, businesses as well as civil society.

Tourism is a sector that is highly dependent and vulnerable to climate change and biodiversity loss- especially in some under-represented communities- but also one that can make a difference by doing efforts for sustainability. To secure strong actions and commitment from the tourism industry the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism will be launched during COP26. The main goal of the Declaration is to work all together in a sector-wide approach to implement climate actions in travel and tourism during COVID recovery and in the next decade.

More concretely, the Declaration aims at fostering a decrease in carbon emission by half before 2030 and to reach zero emission before 2050. It is based on 5 principles :

  • Measure all travel and tourism-related emissions
  • Decarbonise all aspects of tourism
  • Regenerate ecosystems
  • Collaborate and work together
  • Finance training and research

The Glasgow Declaration can be found on the Website OnePlanetNetwork.org. Let’s all commit to implementing sustainability in all our actions.

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