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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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Conclusions and policy recommendations

Insights presented in this report indicate that tourism, although a relatively minor emissions sector, is a significant one if a business as usual approach is maintained. Many governments, industry and tourism organisations expressed the view that tourism must achieve significant reductions in GHG emissions, in line with other industry sectors. None of the commitments expressed by industry are, however, binding, while the “aspirational” targets postulated by various organisations and industry groups have been criticised as impossible to achieve (Scott et al., 2010). Global, national and regional climate policy will thus have to play a key role in achieving any significant de-carbonisation of global and national tourism systems.

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