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Climate Change and Tourism Policy in OECD Countries

image of Climate Change and Tourism Policy in OECD Countries

Undertaken jointly with United Nations Environment Programme, the report analyses policies and issues related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in the tourism sector. It provides policy recommendations, with the objective to identify priority areas to be included in a framework for action in the area of climate change and tourism.  A review of the state of policy-making on this important issue clearly indicates that greater efforts could be made by countries to understand the likely impacts of climate change on tourism; there is a low awareness of the tourism sector's climate change mitigation and adaptation needs; and that current policy, with few exceptions, is inadequate to the scale of the challenge, both on mitigation and adaptation.

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Climate change

a challenge for tourism

Various reports have outlined the global environmental and socio-economic risks associated with the magnitude of climate change projected for the end of the century. These risk projections feature prominently in international policy debates. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, that climate change beyond certain threshold levels would impede the ability of many countries to make progress on sustainable development, and would become a growing security risk (IPCC, 2007). The Stern Review concluded that the costs of economic disruption resulting from inaction would be far higher than the costs of reducing GHG emissions now (Stern, 2006). The Global Humanitarian Forum, headed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, outlined the extent of the effects of climate change, already affecting the livelihoods of 325 million people, causing 300 000 deaths per year and resulting in economic losses of USD 125 billion (Global Humanitarian Forum, 2009). This death toll is expected to rise to an estimated half a million a year by 2020, with four billion people regarded as vulnerable to climate change and half a billion regarded as at extreme risk.

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