Saudi Arabia to tackle climate change concerns in tourism

Published on : Monday, October 25, 2021


Saudi Arabia has launched a global coalition to accelerate the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero.

The Sustainable Tourism Global Centre (STGC), announced by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will support travellers, governments and the private sector.

This will ensure that tourism enables growth and creates jobs while playing its part to achieve the climate goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. Most notably this will contribute to keeping the world to under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming.

Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Minister of Tourism, said that the tourism sector contributes to 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This will grow if we don’t act now.

Tourism is also a highly fragmented sector. 80 percent of businesses in tourism are small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on guidance and support from sector leadership. The sector must be part of the solution.

By working together and delivering a strong joint platform, the tourism sector will have the support it needs. The STGC will facilitate growth while making tourism better for the climate, nature, and communities.

The Sustainable Tourism Global Centre

According to a statement, the centre aims to be the “north star” for the tourism sector as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and transitions toward a sustainable future.

Globally, tourism supports more than 330 million livelihoods.

And pre-pandemic, it was responsible for creating one in four new jobs across the world.

Gloria Guevara, the Chief Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, said that for years and years, multiple players across the tourism sector have been working on different initiatives to accelerate the race to zero.

But they have been working in silos.

The impact of the global pandemic on the tourism sector highlighted the vital importance of multi-country, multi-stakeholder collaboration.

And now, Saudi Arabia is stepping up to bring stakeholders together to make tourism part of the solution to climate change.

The news comes as Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060, while Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest exporter of oil, set a goal of reaching net-zero emissions from its wholly-owned operations by 2050.

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