Published on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tour operators declare climate emergency


Almost two dozen tour operators have signed up to a new tourism industry initiative to address the climate emergency flagged by the United Nations in 2018.

Launched today, the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency Initiative has so far attracted support from 23 operators, including Explore, Intrepid and Responsible Travel, and six individuals.

They have all pledged to product a plan within the next 12 months to cut their carbon emissions and those of their guests to try to arrest the damage caused by global warming within the next 10 years.

"This collaboration with competitors will not only support a broader industry-wide adoption and acceleration of response but also encourages similar members of the industry to join the movement," said Exodus.

"As a founding signatory, Exodus Travels recognises that there is an urgent climate emergency and is committing to a science-based target of halving their carbon footprint per client by 2030."

It said this will include facilitating more train travel to European destinations, switching to lower carbon transport on trips and expanding support of global projects that protect biodiversity and capture carbon. 

"Exodus Travels already works to minimise its carbon impact through a holistic sustainable travel approach across its trips," it said.

"Smaller, locally-owned accommodation with a lower footprint is favoured, such as the Esquinas Rainforest Lodge in Costa Rica. Visits to restaurants and food markets that source food locally rather than import it are a key element to trips. 

"Exodus Travels also supports the protection of carbon-capturing biodiversity, such as in Finland through the Wild Oulanka Foundation.

Exodus Travels' sister-brand, Headwater, will also be signing the pledge and work alongside Exodus Travels to further reduce and mitigate its carbon footprint. 

Headwater has already been proactively increasing the number of clients travelling to its destinations by train, it said.


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