SEE VIDEO: Briefing from Professor Lipman
SEE: The Gross National Happiness
SEE: Presentation at Gothenburg Symposium - Green Economy and Tourism
In the Sustainable Tourism Ministers Briefing, Professor Geoffrey Lipman charts a route through travelism, sustainable mobility, mainstreaming sustainable tourism, to the green economy "Will we talk the talk or walk the walk?"
Quoting Maurice Strong, Achim Steiner and Thomas Friedman, Professor Geoffrey Lipman charts a route to the benefits that tourism can bring to, and gain from, the green economy. But the process is not without challenges…
He identifies major actions that are taking place now… The Republic of Korea launched the world's first "green new deal" stimulus package planning over $80 billion in spending on various green projects; China has a $440 billion package to support wind and solar energy as well as to invest in tourism infrastructure - fast trains, superhighways and upgraded airports; the US aims to create 450 000 "green collar" jobs; the EU and its member states has adopted a 2020 sustainability and jobs strategy, with green growth and innovation at its core; Germany wants a total renewables workforce to reach 900,000 in 2030; France is advancing its longstanding clean nuclear strategy, and the UK has quietly launched the largest offshore wind farm.
The world appears to be intent on reducing dependence on dirty energy, they aver, replacing it with clean energy, linking information technology and energy technology to support the zillions of daily green actions, spur innovation and manage the change, significantly supporting the developing and emerging countries and building a base of eco-system conservation.
"The complexity, scale and scope of this transformation required between now and 2050 in every activity on this planet is almost incomprehensible - given different starting points, socio-politico-economic realities and the multi-trillion dollar cost."
"All of this will be occurring at a time when the geopolitical landscape will be shifting away from the traditional Western led models, with greater BRICS engagement on the back of more dynamic growth patterns and the opening of China"s superpower economy."
In Professor Lipman's contribution to the Sustainable Tourism Ministers Briefing, he outlines a number of key developments:
"Fundamental approaches to economic standards and measurement will also be evolving, as well as basic development concepts themselves. The Sarkozy/Stiglitz examination of Bhutan style gross national happiness rather than simply gross national product is being seriously examined elsewhere in Europe, where the UK has launched a nationwide survey on the issue of happiness."
"There will also be global expansion of Grameen-style micro-enterprise banking, as well as fundamental new controls on international investment banking; increasingly devolved development finance decision making by the international aid agencies and funding institutions and, last but not least, the growing transformation of corporate social responsibility to corporate and multi- stakeholder action, with the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative an increasingly important reference point."
Coining the term "Travelism" for the Entire Travel and Tourism sector "demand side" activity of non-commuting travel for business/ leisure, international /domestic and the "supply side" industry cluster of transport, tourism, hospitality, distribution and related delivery services - they ask the question "Where does Travelism stand in this evolution and more importantly where is it going in terms of sustainable mobility, poverty-eradication, climate change and the environment?
A call is made for Smart Tourism - quality tourism, which is clean, green and ethical, but more importantly, the pair also make a call for the airline industry not to be made a scapegoat in the climate change debate.
"Aviation has been singled out by NGOs and others as a highly visible culprit. Underlying this is the projection of a 2-3% share of global carbon emissions over a 40 year period, at extrapolated growth rates, adding the impacts of other greenhouse gases and estimates for radiative forcing, and assuming "a business as usual scenario"
"In reality, air transport creates a relatively small carbon footprint when compared to huge other challenges - like cities and deforestation. It is also a key component in delivering the societal benefits of the Travelism sector which is itself committing strongly to meet evolving government carbon emission standards over the next decades.
But, he says, the green economy also brings "Massive New Opportunities"
"Countries, companies and communities who are first movers will find that action helps them cut costs, develop new markets and leapfrog into clean energy regimes.
Consider the opportunities inherent in technology and innovation - new aircraft frames and engines are forecast to reduce carbon emissions by 30% over the next three decades. Hybrid cars are becoming widely available. As is bio-fuel alternatives. Just look at the number of hotels who don"t use solar energy despite the cost of fossil fuel rising, or who - at their own peril - ignore the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency retrofitting."
"And there is of course the employment dimension - which is huge. Massive skills and re- training programs will be needed for existing workers to move them into green jobs. And then there are new workers - school leavers and graduates who can become tomorrow"s green small, medium and micro enterprises or green entrepreneurs. They will become the green economy foot soldiers, generals and ultimately leaders in the next four decades up to mid-century. And there is a massive opportunity here to match computer literate graduate job seekers with developing states needs to bridge the digital divide and corporate social responsibility programs. "
How is this to happen? According to Professor Lipman:
"First, we must recognize the transformation potential and get squarely behind the Green Growth agenda. It"s still early days in the global acceptance of this kind of economic approach, but we must understand it - the pros and the cons - to maximize our contribution and our benefits. And we must work to position the sector now when governments are putting together stimulus packages and when the massive transformational funds and technology packages for climate mitigation and adaptation and aid for trade are being put together."
"Second, we must learn to account for our impacts - and to do so in a way that not only tracks with Tourism Satellite Accounting - but also with mainstream new green economic measurement and thinking."
"Third, we must create vehicles to promote the Green Economy across the sector and with key audiences. This will require us to integrate the concept and our role in transformation into mainstream structures, meetings and events. And to use our massive routine communications channels."
"Fourth, we must build the quadruple bottom line into all policies and programs; adding climate to economic, social and environment fundamentals in the sustainability equation. We must create a new balance that starts from the need for energy efficiency for long term survival and that incorporates the real costs of all the components into our green transformation. We must mainstream "smart tourism" - clean: green: ethical and quality. And we must underpin it with a massive ICT expansion to enhance efficiency. We must intensify public - private sector collaboration. In the final analysis, the private sector will be the main deliverer and together with communities the main beneficiary - but governments have to create the enabling framework."
"Fifth, we must replace talk and lofty statements with action. We have passed the analysis and declaration stages. We have had plenty of "leadership initiatives". What we need is committed implementation starting NOW . Engaging a fragmented sector with shared goals, while increasing momentum, is more important than ever. Travelism has only scratched the surface of our clean, green potential - now it"s time to mainstream it."
Sustainable Tourism Ministers Briefing Special Offer: www.travelmole.com/stories/1146076.php
Sustainable Tourism double masterclass with Professor Lipman: www.travelmole.com/stories/1146006.php
Tuesday, January 25, 2011