News Sustainable Energy
You probably heard or even read about the United Nations Climate Change Conference over the past few months. This so-called 26th Conference of the Parties (hence the common abbreviation COP26) took place from October 31st to November 13th of this year in Glasgow, Scotland, and marked a major effort to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Part of the conference was the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Change Action in Tourism, aimed at stimulating action from the worldwide tourism industry. Supported by several global hospitality leaders as well as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), every hospitality entity in the world was asked to become a signatory of the Declaration as part of a worldwide effort to take a big step in the battle against climate change. The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, located at Aruba's Eagle Beach, has become the first Caribbean hospitality establishment to sign the Declaration.
The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism
But, first things first: what is the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism exactly? Based on the undeniable need for a globally coordinated approach to climate change and climate action in tourism, the goal of the Declaration is to bring together research, researchers, and global experts is meant to be a first step in that direction. Transport related to tourism is an especially big contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases. The Declaration aims at setting a common set of guidelines for climate action throughout the sector worldwide.
“A just transition to Net Zero (where greenhouse gases emitted equal greenhouse gases taken out of the atmosphere) before 2050 will only be possible if tourism's recovery accelerates the adoption of sustainable consumption and production”, the Declaration reads, “and redefines our future success to consider not only economic value but rather the regeneration of ecosystems, biodiversity, and communities”.
Setting an example for the Caribbean
By signing the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort on Aruba has become the first Caribbean signatory, in the person of the resort's owner and CEO, Ewald Biemans. “It is an honor to represent Aruba and the Caribbean as a launch signatory of the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism here at the United Nations' COP26”, he stated, “It provides the guidance and clear goals that I hope prompts all of us through the Caribbean to join together to help to protect our vulnerable, yet beautiful paradise, and to protect our people in working towards a better future”.
Biemans actually attended the conference in Glasgow as a winner of the Global UN 2020 Climate Action Award and presented his company's journey to achieving net zero and beyond. Signing the Declaration represents a commitment of the resort to a sustainable future. Among other aspects of the Declaration, this means that the company commits to a global temperature rise of no more than 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100, to delivering a climate plan within twelve months, and to publicly update and report on this plan yearly. This way, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, as the first Caribbean signatory of the Glasgow Declaration, wants to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions in tourism by at least 50% over the coming ten years.
The basis for this article (by Marcella Janczewski) was originally published on www.visitaruba.com on November 8th, 2021.