Malta’s Tourism Minister Dr. Konrad Mizzi, leading a global discussion in London this week announced a bold strategy to respond to the climate crisis and to promote it over the next decade. Mizzi said “ SUNx Malta’s, “Plan For Our Kids” will address every aspect of tourism to ensure that it fits into the Paris Climate Agreement’s 1.5o Scenario” He described a new kind of Travel that will be ~ measured to manage its carbon emissions: green to grow sustainably and 2050 proof to innovate with low carbon technology. Bringing SUNx – Strong Universal Network to Malta would give a global outreach from a country with 22% of its economy based on tourism and a history as a thought leader in climate resilience.” Mizzi described the 1st SUNx Malta “Climate Friendly Travel Report” released, with WTTC, during the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit as an important first step in improving the Travel and Tourism sector’s Carbon Reduction potential and in building its ambition for a 2050 Climate Neutral Program. He announced the launch of a 2020 Registry of Climate Friendly Travel Ambition as a further focal point in advancing Industry Climate Neutral progress.
Professor Geoffrey Lipman said that SUNx Malta was a legacy to the late Maurice Strong, who had spent half a century leading global action on Climate Change culminating first in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and then the Paris Climate Accord in 2015. He noted that the bottom line of the 1st Climate Friendly Travel Report was that the Travel industry needed to radically up its Climate Neutral ambitions so that it could peak greenhouse gas emissions now, halve them by 2030 and eliminate their impact totally by 2050. This would bring it into the forefront of the kind of societal change that other sectors of the economy and world leaders are already envisaging.
Rochelle Turner, Research Director at the World Travel and Tourism Council said that the Report complimented WTTC’s well established work on Travel & Tourism’s significant economic and trade implications. It also reflected the agreement made by its Members with UNFCCC to establish a leadership initiative to support the Paris Agreement.
Chris Lyle, CEO of Air Transport Economics said that aviation as a primary driver of Tourism was a leading example of the need for increased ambition on emission reduction. He explained the many actions already taken by ICAO with its CORSIA Plan and by the industry with operational improvements but agreed that much more was needed to meet broader global targets. Lyle specifically focused on Synthetic Aviation Fuel which he said was the key to no carbon flying. He called for an accelerated pace of change and believed that SUNx Malta could help to catalyse stronger action.
Carlos Moreira Chairman and CEO of WISeKey a leading cybersecurity company reflected on the potential of new technology – particularly big data and artificial intelligence to help in the change acceleration. He said that the climate driven future was a world in which carbon accounting would become as important as financial accounting and described how his company envisaged block chain ledgers and integrated wearable
digital devices as a way to help measure and record the actions needed across the travel and tourism ecosystem. He underscored the place of Climate Friendly Travel in a smart, mobility future.
Minister Mizzi concluded a lively discussion by announcing that SUNx Malta would hold a first Think Tank of global experts, in Malta early in 2020 to advance the concept of Climate Friendly Travel and to focus on practical implementation at a national and local level.
Report by SUNx Malta.