Canada (University of Waterloo) Waterloo Professor Unveils New Framework To Accelerate Tourism Climate Action At COP27

University of Waterloo Professor Daniel Scott was one of three leading experts who launched a new international Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The panel represents a new era of global collaboration that will support the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions and climate resilient tourism development.

Professor Scott and his peers, Susanne Becken and Geoffrey Lipman, presented the ‘Foundation Framework’ for the TPCC, which brings together more than 60 leading experts from over 30 countries and across academia, business, and civil society, including Dr. Michelle Rutty, Canada Research Chair and assistant professor in Waterloo’s Department of Geography and Environmental Management.

“The TPCC is dedicated to a new era of climate resilient tourism that is on track to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and is successfully adapting to the accelerating impacts of climate change through actions that broadly advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” Scott said.

The TPCC leaders emphasized 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 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 Series – 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. The University of Waterloo, through the Waterloo Climate Institute, is an official observer to COP and has been sending delegations to witness the negotiations since 2013.