“The Paris clock keeps ticking and we need bold imaginative actions to respond,” Professor Geoffrey Lipman said in his keynote remarks. “The China Summer Tourism Program exactly meets that need, encouraging travel to areas like Jilin, where climate extremes are less intensive and where local populations will benefit from the economic uplift. At the same time, focusing on best practice solutions to the greening of transport, hospitality and especially the visitor food chain.”
Lipman said that this kind of action is in stark contrast to the Trump Administration’s attack on the multilaterally agreed Paris framework, which he called “Declaring war on our Grandkids – which we must resist” He said that scientists suggest that on current performance, we are heading to a 3 degree increase in pre-industrial global temperatures, in contrast to the Paris base of 2 degrees.
He added that “Travel & Tourism is behind the response curve, with some subsectors, like aviation needing major shifts to bring their carbon footprint into line – we need to face up to the stark realities of Climate Change and begin adaptation now.”
On a positive note he referenced a recent Club of Rome Report “Come On,” which said that with collaboration, commitment and full use of new technology we could still meet the Paris optimism scenario.
Lipman outlined the SUNx Program – a legacy to Maurice Strong, Sustainable Development pioneer and champion of China’s leadership in this area – to place a cloud connected Climate Resilience learning and innovation Centre in every country by 2030, with 100,000 climate activists to advance innovative solutions. Travel & Tourism is a pivotal part of the human development agenda, and it is essential that we play a leadership role in the transformation to a new climate resilient economy.
Concluding, he called for a paradigm shift in tourism systems, through Impact-Travel – measured to manage: green to grow:2050 proof to innovate. Lipman said that “For our sector to play its full part in the transformation, we must act now. Tomorrow will be too late.”
The author, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, is co-founder of SUNx and President of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).