“The Glasgow Declaration is a catalyst for increased urgency about the need to accelerate climate action in tourism and to secure strong actions and commitment to cut tourism emissions in half over the next decade and reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050.” ~ One Planet Network
As the negotiations continue at the latest international climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the New York Times points out the disconnect between world leaders inside the meetings and the environmentalists outside the doors protesting for immediate action. The biggest difference? Most world leaders are well over 65 years of age and the activists outside are much, much younger.
Enter this GenXer, a mere 54-year-old who grew up watching anti-littering campaigns and still picks up other people’s trash when hiking. I know that campaigns to encourage change require more than a promise. Too many of them have failed in the past.
Individual Responsibility To Climate Change
My husband and I try to do our best to use less carbon – we’ve owned hybrid vehicles, we buy used instead of new whenever possible, we keep our thermostat at 67 degrees Fahrenheit in the wintertime and rarely turn on the air conditioner in summer (it’s a benefit of living in Portland, Oregon). We do these things not because we think that we can make a difference by ourselves. We do them because so many others are trying to help as well. We’re in this together, even when we don’t agree on any of the solutions.
And, let’s face it, everything we do is a drop in the bucket. We really need large corporations and governments to make serious changes in the ways they do business to maximize impact.
Business Responsibility to Climate Change
Our business, though small, is taking a step in the right direction without you needing to ask us to do so. We already know how important it is that we do right by the Earth.
Last Friday, November 4th, 2021, Not Your Average American signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism.
What does it mean to sign the declaration? We’ve promised to:
- Support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.
- Deliver climate action plans within 12 months from becoming a signatory (or updating existing plans), and begin implementing them.
- Align their plans with the five pathways of the Declaration (Measure, Decarbonize, Regenerate, Collaborate, Finance) to accelerate and coordinate climate action in tourism.
- Report publicly on an annual basis on progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as on actions being taken.
- Work in a collaborative spirit, sharing good practices and solutions, and disseminating information to encourage additional organizations to become signatories and supporting one another to reach targets as quickly as possible.
Over the next few weeks, we will conduct an internal assessment of our carbon usage. In case you’re interested in doing the same for your household, Wren offers a pretty useful tool to get started. We’re also considering purchasing offsets via Tomorrow’s Air. If you know of another company working to help reduce our carbon footprint, please let us know in the comments below!
It’s Time to Travel Again
In the meantime, we want you to start traveling again (more on that in our next article). We think tourism provides a great benefit to local communities, especially those in developing nations. Take lovely Ecuador, for example. Without tourism, local communities are left relying on mineral extraction or agriculture as means of income. The former pollutes and poisons the land, the latter destroys forests. Tourism allows for a different path forward.
If you are so inclined, consider signing the Glasgow Declaration with us! We would be proud to share your announcement with our readers and partners!