A new collaborative group of scientists and tourism stakeholders have united to present their take on a global initiative to challenge the way we think about climate change and tourism and mobilising knowledge to accelerate climate action in tourism.

In similar vein to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) reports, the Tourism Panel on Climate Change is an independent science-based network of globally leading tourism and climate experts, supported by the Sustainable Tourism Global Centre.

Professor Susanne Becken.

Professor Susanne Becken, a sustainable tourism expert from the Griffith Institute of Tourism, is on the TPCC Chief Executive board and co-authored the document and its vision and mission purpose.

“Tourism makes an incredibly powerful and positive contribution to human development; however, it is timely to connect fragmented efforts and accelerate cohesive sector climate action for advanced mitigation and adaptation in the decades ahead,” Professor Becken said.

“The TPCC brings together thought leaders from around the world to respond to this clarion call.”

Outlined in its Foundation Document, to be presented on November 10 at COP27 in Egypt, the TPCC is committed to changing the way we think about tourism and to strengthen the collaboration between the scientific and stakeholder communities to catalyse climate action in line with required emissions reductions pathways.

“Our vision is a new era of climate resilient global tourism, that is on track to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and is successfully adapting to accelerating impacts of climate change through actions that broadly advance the Sustainable Development Goals,” Professor Becken said.

“Connecting more than 60 leading experts from over 30 countries and from across academia, business, and civil society, the TPCC represents a new era of collaboration to support science-based tourism climate action in pursuit of the Paris Climate Agreement goals.”

TPCC expected outputs include:

  • Publish an overview of independent open-source indicators that track key connections between climate change and tourism, including progress on sector commitments in support of Paris Climate Agreement goals.
  • Complete the first synthesis of tourism relevant knowledge in 15 years on emission trends, climate impacts, and options for mitigation and adaptation to support climate resilient tourism development globally, regionally and nationally.
  • Publish leading edge thought pieces on critical issues on the intersect between climate change and tourism mitigation and adaptation.

Professor Becken, alongside Professors Daniel Scott and Geoffrey Lipman, emphasised that the incredible power of tourism’s positive contribution to human development cannot be realized if we fail on climate change. Without action, climate change will adversely transform tourism in the years and decades ahead, and the mission of the TPCC is “to inform and rapidly advance science-based climate action across the global tourism system in support of the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

During a technical session at COP27, the TPCC Executive team launched its website www.tpcc.info where visitors can download the Foundation Framework, which outlines its three major outputs.

1. Climate Action Stocktake Reports — The TPCC will develop a new set of peer-reviewed and open-source indicators that track important connections between climate change and tourism, including progress on sector commitments in support of Paris Climate Agreement goals. TPCC will publish an update of these metrics every three years, with the first to be delivered at COP28 in 2023.

2. Science Assessment — The TPCC will undertake the first comprehensive synthesis in more than 15 years of the state of tourism relevant knowledge about climate change emission trends, impacts, future risks, and a focus on mitigation and adaptation solutions. This assessment will include an open and transparent review process and will be published in time for COP29 in 2024.

3. Horizon Papers — The TPCC will identify strategic knowledge gaps to meet the sector’s Paris Climate Agreement obligations through expert reviews and new analysis to support policy and decision-makers.

The Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) is supported by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

13: Climate Action
UN Sustainable Development Goals 13: Climate Action