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The ATTA’s Climate Action Initiatives Plan for 2020

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ATTA Declares a Climate Emergency

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, and an important one for our planet. The ATTA is proud to begin this decade with a commitment to climate action, and joining as a signatory for the movement “Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency”.

ATTA’s Position on Climate Issues

Our industry relies on the health of our planet’s wilderness areas, oceans, wildlife and of course communities – yet, tourism is responsible for 8% of total global emissions, contributing to global warming that threatens these resources. This equated to an estimated 2.9 gigatons of emissions in 2018.

We are now officially within the 10-year window of opportunity to avoid irreversible climate change. The ATTA acknowledges that we cannot continue down our carbon-dependent path in a travel-as-usual scenario if climate change is to be addressed.

As an industry where the natural environment is often a centerpiece of the product, we are forced to confront climate challenges head on. The ATTA embraces the need for transformative travel practices, and we will be profiling climate action as a pillar of our work going forward.

Joining ‘Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency’

We begin our commitment to climate action by signing “Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency”. In signing the Climate Emergency Declaration, we commit to the five actions outlined in the declaration. These are as follows:

  1.   Develop a ‘Climate emergency Plan’
  2.   Share your commitment and progress publicly
  3.   Cut carbon emissions
  4.   Work together
  5.   Advocate for change

We view signing the declaration as our first step in joining the broader travel community, and take this opportunity to announce our climate action initiatives.

Our Commitment to Climate Action

ATTA has been developing its approach to climate action since 2016 when we began offsetting the emissions associated with our flagship event, the Adventure Travel World Summit.

Now in 2020 we are committed to offsetting all ATTA events, including staff and delegate emissions. As an industry body, we are also introducing three core programs to support broader industry involvement in climate action. These are:

  1. Neutral Together: The ATTA will make it possible for travel businesses to participate in a bulk carbon offsetting purchase program. We are working with our partner South Pole to bring carbon offsetting to the travel community.
  2. Tomorrow’s Air: The ATTA will introduce the world’s first travel collective to provide inspiration and education for carbon removal along with the ability to purchase carbon removal through direct air capture. Our partner in this is Climeworks.
  3. Climate Action Leader Community: We have created a LinkedIn community for the purpose of bringing together early adopters and fostering knowledge sharing on climate action and best practices.

Commitment to Action for Members

As a trade organization, we see it as our responsibility to bring global issues to our members. In conjunction with adding our signature to the ‘Tourism Declares’ movement, we also offer an action-based pledge for our members to sign.

The ATTA’s Pledge for Climate Action encourages members to pledge to take climate action seriously, and take meaningful steps towards reducing travel’s contribution to global emissions. ATTA’s Pledge brings the Tourism Declares movement to its community by encouraging leaders working in travel trade organisations to consider their carbon footprint and amplify their impact. Those who sign will be invited to download a digital badge to display as they wish  as a signal of their commitment.

The ATTA’s Pledge for Travel Trade is here.

Through launching our initiatives, and providing a pledge for commitment within our community, we lead by example and encourage broader action within the travel industry.

We are excited to be a part of this movement, and most importantly, to work with our fellow travel professionals in addressing climate challenges together.

2 Comments to The ATTA’s Climate Action Initiatives Plan for 2020

  1. Diane French

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for your concern and your question is certainly a valid one. 

    Adventure travelers and companies know that adventure has been a positive force to support environmental conservation goals, community and cultural and wildlife preservation, and yet nearly every aspect of travel, from transport to accommodation to meals to shopping, has its undeniable environmental footprint.  

    Adventure travelers, and the businesses who serve them, have seen first-hand the effects climate change has wrought on the places they travel, and are now more than ever realizing the balance we must all strike between help and harm.  

    The ATTA is responding in a few ways:

    • We’re proud to have signed on to the ‘Tourism Declares’ movement, and we also offer an action-based pledge for members to sign. The
    Pledge for Climate Action brings this movement to our community by encouraging leaders working in travel trade organizations to consider their carbon footprint and amplify their impact.

    • We’ve also established a set of climate action support initiatives to help mobilize the global strength of the travel industry to climate action: 

    A Climate Action Leaders in Travel community on LinkedIn for the exchange of ideas and accurate scientific information.

    Neutral Together, a carbon offset bulk purchase program for our members

    Tomorrow’s Air, a platform to enable collective action for carbon removal through processes that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere. 

    Finally, we strongly believe that education on a global level is critical. That’s why we host our summits around the world. Recognizing climate change and confronting it with solutions is not reserved for any region of the globe. Rather, we feel the only true solutions arise when we work together. Australia has seen first-hand the effects of a changing planet and its example of resourcefulness and resolve will surely inspire us all as we gather in Adelaide.

    Thanks again for reaching out, and we hope to see you at ATWS in October.

    Diane French
    Communications Manager, ATTA

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