As part of the celebrations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, the Astana EXPO 2017 and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) organized the World Conference on Tourism and Future Energy: Unlocking low-carbon growth opportunities, held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 26 and 27 June 2017.
This conference aimed to stimulate discussion among industry leaders, entrepreneurs, financiers and policy makers, as well as explored new opportunities and innovative solutions for future energy in the global tourism sector to contribute to low carbon growth.
As the United Nations’ specialized agency for tourism, UNWTO is fully committed to EXPO 2017 and continues to work with all partners in advancing the contribution of tourism—one of the leading economic sectors of our times—in building a better future for people and our planet.
UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai said
“Tourism is estimated to account for 5% of global atmospheric CO2 emissions. We need to move towards a truly green tourism economy where growth is decoupled from environmental or cultural degradation”.
Curbing emissions, energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and sustainable practices were underlined as key to ensure tourism’s contribution to the Paris Agreement. The Conference concluded on the need to:
- Secure the commitment of all actors at national and local level (public and private sectors)
- Develop policies and strategies at local level (cities and destinations)
- Strengthen knowledge of how to change energy use patterns to generate investment opportunities
- Move towards a green economy where growth is decoupled from the use of natural resources and creates green jobs
- Fight climate change along the entire tourism value chain (transport to and within destinations, hospitality industries and activities)
- Improve measurement for better management at global and local level
- Adapt and act fast knowing there is no “one-fits-all” solution
- Engage all stakeholders including local communities, staff and tourists and ensure the benefits of low-carbon growth are distributed to all
- Build links with other sectors
- Develop tourism products with low-carbon impact that can create jobs, especially for women and youth