SUNx Malta 1st Annual Climate Friendly Travel Think Tank

Preparing For the Glasgow 2020 Climate Summit article 6

SUNx is a legacy to Maurice Strong, former Under-Secretary-General of the UN, father of Sustainable Development and visionary on climate resilience. He had a passionate belief in the potential of Travel & Tourism to be a positive change agent for sustainability generally and in response to the Climate Crisis specifically. It is advocating Climate Friendly Travel ~ Measured, Green, and 2050-proof.

“The eXistential Climate Crisis requires even more urgent action by the entire global Travel & Tourism sector than has been generally recognized to date.”
SUNx Malta Board meeting
·        The inaugural SUNx Malta 2020 Climate Friendly Travel Think Tank with 35 global thought leaders (attachment 1) met from 24th - 28th February in Qawra, Malta. It operated in the context of the long-term transformational vision of the late Maurice Strong for sustainable development that responds coherently to the climate crisis.
·        The First “Climate Friendly Travel” Sector Report, co-produced by SUNx Malta and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in September 2019 and issued on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly was reviewed and strongly endorsed, along with its key messages:
o   The Climate Crisis is eXistential.
o   Climate Action is Urgent
o   Climate & Carbon Ambitions Globally must increase
o   Travel & Tourism Sector Climate Ambition must intensify
o   Climate Friendly Travel can be a solution
o   We must Act Now. We must Act Fast.
·        The Initiative of the Government of Malta to become a global Centre of Climate Friendly Travel was warmly welcomed. As was the leadership of the Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli. 
The Think Tank added the following based on an analysis of alternative future scenarios.
·        All Stakeholders including Transport, Hospitality, Travel Services, and Infrastructure Providers must urgently start the transformation in 2020 to get onto the Paris 1.5o trajectory within the next 7- 10 years. Governments, Companies, communities and consumers, must all engage and take action now.
·        “Climate Friendly Travel” ~ measured: green: 2050 proof, with Strong Ambitions must urgently become an imperative and the new norm.
·        The European Green New Deal was discussed with MEP Istvan Ujhelyi Vice Chair of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament and SUNx Malta agreed to support the initiative, to promote the strong integration of Climate Friendly Travel and to convene a meeting in Brussels in Q2/2020 to advance this.
·        Improving the Research Base was underscored on both decarbonization and sector resilience. The initiative of the Universities of Surrey and Griffith to host a meeting of global experts to focus on this issue was warmly welcomed, with an agreement to collaborate going forward.
  
Fully transforming all modes of transport was seen as pivotal. SUNx Malta’s call for a Moon-shot approach for aviation to further accelerate technological research and deployment was strongly supported.
The highest importance must be given to the immediate distribution and rapid scaling up of currently available solutions to substantially reduce aviation fossil fuel reliance. There is a need for renewed commitment from the sector to radically increase financing of synthetic fuels. Current fuel suppliers were called on to apply full financial and corporate commitment to a solution, as well as to give the highest priority to synthetic aviation fuel production. In addition, states may wish to consider including international Aviation in their Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Contributions. 
·        In regard to Climate Financing generally, the Travel & Tourism sector must engage more actively with emerging Green Finance programs to be able to secure adequate funds for transformation. High quality offsetting of carbon impacts were seen as short-term transition instruments but totally inadequate as a long-term solution. In this context it was broadly believed that aviation action to date was falling behind the rapidly intensifying transformation need.
·        Emerging innovations and technologies were reviewed, and it was felt that there are “low hanging fruits” that could be acted upon rapidly, in areas such as building refurbishment, cruise shipping, carbon reduction, waste to fuel transformation, developing consumer behaviour and digital opportunities.
·        The SUNx Malta Climate Friendly Travel Registry of Ambitions was reviewed and endorsed, as was the initiative with WISeKey to develop an innovative consumer facing secure platform.
·        Education of the Next Generation was underscored as a high priority with an emphasis on an accredited Graduate Diploma, from the Gozo Institute of Tourism Studies Campus. The SUNx Malta 100,000 STRONG Climate Friendly Travel Champions and as well as its school’s program - was seen as a very positive step forward to support company and community transformation.
·        The emerging Malta collaborative framework between Government and the Travel & Tourism Supply Chain is a pioneering approach, which could be  replicated around the world, as States seek to fulfil their Paris Agreement National Determined Contributions.


Carla
Aguirre
Deputy CEO, Tourism in Skåne
Professor
Susanne
Becken
Griffith University / Science Investment Adviser, NZ Dept of Conservation

Noel
Campbell
Fmr Australian Ambassador to Spain & UNWTO

Andrew
Charlton
MD, Aviation Advocacy

Nancy
Cockerell
Managing Partner, The Travel Business Partnership
Professor
Felix
Dodds
GRI University of N. Carolina, Tellus Institute & Co-creator SUNx

George
Drakopoulos
CEO, Tourism Generis

Marcio
Favilla
Fmr Executive Director UNWTO

Joceline
Favre-Bulle
Campus Manager, Les Roches International School of Hotel Management
Dr
Hans
Friederich
Member SUNx Board and former INBAR Director-General

Nicola
Furey
VP, Earth Focus Foundation

Gursoy
Galip
Co-owner and Head of Digital, Howoco

Esmir
Ganic
Manager Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Qatar Airways
Professor
Jafar
Jafari
Hospitality and Tourism, University of Wisconsin-Stout

Dourgam
Kummer
Head of M&A, WISeKey International Holding AG
Professor
Geoffrey
Lipman
Co-creator SUNx President SUNx Malta

Chris
Lyle
CEO, Air Transport Economics

Carlos
Moreira
Founder, Chairman and CEO, WISeKey

Dan
Morrell
Founder, CHANT LIVE

Robyn
Nixon
General Manager, The Intrepid Foundation

Jeff
Poole
Director Advocacy WTTC, Former Director General CANSO

Alex
Rayner
CEO, SmartData.travel / Amadeus

Vicky
Smith
Founder, Earth Changers

Lisa
Spafford
Managing Director, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

Paul
Steel
Former Corporate Secretary IATA

Natalie
Swinburne
Trade Marketing Manager, Malta Tourism Authority

Jens
Thraenhart
CEO, Mekong Tourism
Dr
István
Ujhelyi
MEP Vice-Chair Committee on Transport & Tourism

Leslie
Vella
Chairman, SUNx Malta & Deputy CEO, Malta Tourism Authority
Professor
Carlos
Vogeler
Fmr Exec Dir UNWTO

Paul
Wilke
CEO, Upright Position Communications. Fmr VP Communications VISA

Olly
Wheatcroft
Program Manager, SUNx Malta
Professor
Ian
Yeoman
Assoc. Professor (Futurologist)         Victoria University of Wellington
Dr
Jinfeng
Zhou
S.G., China Biodiversity Conservation & Green Development Foundation


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