In anticipation of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen, 7-18 December, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has been working with the European Travel Commission (ETC) and VisitSweden to provide a comprehensive overview of how tourism can play a leading role in the development of a sustainable global economy. The joint Symposium on Tourism and Travel in the Green Economy (14-15 September, Gothenburg, Sweden), was thus convened as part of UNWTO’s Davos Process to address how carbon neutrality and the development of sustainable consumption and production relates to the tourism sector. As such, the Gothenburg Symposium will make an important contribution both in support of ‘sealing the deal’ in Copenhagen and the longer road to a Green Economy.
UIC was invited to this symposium by the UN WTO to address how new technologies can be used to achieve climate neutral actions in travelling in a panel entitled “The Tourism and Travel Industry, Innovation and New Technologies”. Under the title “Sustainable Travel after the Copenhagen Agreement – Tourism and Railways in a Green Global Economy” Margrethe Sagevik, Senior Advisor Sustainable Dev., International Union of Railways (UIC) presented why rail is a part of the solution to climate change and the green economy, including the UIC tools EcoPassenger and EcoTransIT and the Train to Copenhagen-campaign. Further on Sagevik emphasised all the important work that will lay ahead of COP 15 for the tourism and travel sector. The way forward is cooperation and dialogue – also within the transport sector, including the development of joint transport indicators.
The other panellists were Thea Chiesa, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industry, World Economic Forum (WEF) and Phillipe Fonta, Head of Sustainable Development, Airbus Industries and Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Secretary, UNWTO Business Council. The session was chaired by Luigi Cabrini, UNWTO. The UIC contribution was very well received and concrete proposals for partnerships are now being explored.