About Climate Friendly Travel

Green Growth PyramidThe Big Idea - Green Growth and Travelism

The Travel and Tourism sector – “Travelism” – contributes up to 10% of world GDP and is a major contributor to jobs, trade, wealth, and well-being, especially in emerging economies – it needs to Grow.

But Travelism can also be a major contributor to the world’s carbon footprint, pollution, resource utilisation and damage to the environment – Travelism growth must be Green if it is not to destroy itself.

Green Growth and Travelism is the only sensible response to the challenge of sustainable long term development of the travel and tourism sector.  The objective of the SUN Program is to deliver this response.

Advancing Climate Resilience through Climate Friendly Travel

The world is moving towards a new type of socio-economic development with environment integrated into policy frameworks and climate resilience a central component. It took three interrelated sessions in 2015 - in Addis to create a $100 billion a year Development Finance framework: in New York a 15-year Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda with 17 goals, 169 targets and 304 indicators: in Paris a gradually increasingly tough multi-decade Climate Resilience transformation from fossil fuels to renewables.

This Agenda is progressively targeting 2050 for climate and 2030 for sustainability. It will be complicated – trillions of changes, in millions of places. It will take constantly evolving thinking, perpetual adaptation, new forms of collaboration and open minds from inside and outside the sector.

“Climate Friendly Travel” is a recognition of Travel & Tourism linked to evolving global climate, sustainability and connectivity norms. It incorporates three strands: Full Balance Sheet Commitment. Coherent recognition, measurement and management of the positive and negative impacts of Tourism - with multi-stakeholder public, private and civil society engagement Green Growth at the Core for low carbon, resource efficiency and biodiversity conservation: strengthening jobs, inclusion and trade: “reconnecting” nature, urbanization and people, from a local community base. Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as an innovation driver. A World Economic Forum framework for hyper-technology acceleration, the internet of things and web/human interface, as well as the Paris accords.

The economic benefits of growth are well recognised but the adverse impacts such as pollution, resource depletion and congestion have received less attention. There is now widespread acknowledgement of the need for a new approach which balances the benefits and impacts. That is the rationale for Climate Friendly Travel. Moreover, the increasingly apparent extreme weather impacts of Climate Change will need to be incorporated more effectively.


Geoffrey Lipman, SUNx Co-founder




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