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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 21/09/2021

Pledge to tackle the climate crisis

VisitScotland has joined tourism organisations from across the world to support a new pledge to tackle the climate crisis.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism is a global initiative which will be launched at COP26 in November.

Organisations signing up to the Declaration commit to acting to cut tourism emissions at least in half over the next decade and reach net zero as soon as possible before 2050.

At VisitScotland, we already working towards the Scottish Government’s more ambitious target of reducing emissions by 75% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2045.

VisitScotland was a member of the committee which drafted the Declaration, along with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Travel Foundation and Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.

The Declaration builds on the commitment made last year when we signed up to the Tourism Declares initiative and the work done since then. 

Our activity

As an organisation, we have reduced our own carbon emissions by 74% since 2008/09 and we are sending less waste to landfill, with 58% of our waste recycled in 2019/20.

We have also supported businesses to do the same through our sustainability advice and support, delivered through our Quality Assurance programme.

Across Scotland, more than 850 businesses now have Green Tourism awards, showing that they are working towards reducing carbon emissions and becoming more sustainable.

Responsible tourism is at the heart of our strategic framework, in line with the Scottish Government’s target to become net zero by 2045 and the tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030.

The commitment

Each signatory to the Glasgow Declaration will commit to delivering a climate action plan within 12 months of signing, aligned with pathways of:

  • Measurement
  • Decarbonisation
  • Regeneration
  • Collaboration
  • Financing

As the first national tourism organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency, we have long been committed to leading the development of Scotland as a responsible destination.

We are reducing our own carbon emissions to meet our target to become net zero and are supporting businesses and destinations to do the same to ensure Scotland is enjoyed by generations of visitors to come.

The Glasgow Declaration presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the decisive action the tourism and events industry is taking globally in the face of the climate crisis.

Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Further information

More information on the Declaration is on One Planet’s website.