The ATTA’s Climate Action Initiatives Plan for 2020

4 February 2020

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.