Earth Day news: TPCC gathering scientific knowledge on tourism and climate change in time for COP28

Guest blog by the secretariat of he Tourism Panel on Climate Change

A stocktake of tourism-related climate science, indicators of sector climate risk, and progress on climate action is a key first deliverable for the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) in 2023.

The TPCC has announced this ahead of Earth Day this Saturday, April 22.

The first TPCC Stocktake will be the basis for future science analysis.

Sixty-six leading climate scientists and tourism experts from around the world are contributing to the Stocktake. They are also contributing to the TPCC’s mission to support tourism’s transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, in line with Paris Climate Agreement targets.

The TPCC will formally present its first Stocktake in November at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates.

Researchers who are not already among the TPCC’s 66 scientists and experts will have an opportunity to contribute during a research symposium at the University of Surrey, England, on July 6. The TPCC will then present the preliminary findings of the Stocktake in New York during UN Climate Week in September.

The Stocktake will present all the positive and negative change indicators that will serve as performance benchmarks for travel & tourism climate action in the future.

Next year (2024), the TPCC will follow up with a comprehensive assessment of what we know about tourism and climate change based on all of the scientific literature and other knowledge it has gathered. That will be the first TPCC Science Assessment.

The TPCC Science Assessment will interrogate the intersection of climate and tourism in relation to the Paris 1.5°C scenario as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessments and recommendations on emissions reduction targets.

Identifying knowledge gaps and building capacity for change

Inspired by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the TPCC was created by the Saudi Arabia-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) to operate independently and impartially, and to build capacity to provide leading science to inform tourism climate action across the world.

Launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022, the TPCC is designed to meet the urgent need for trusted peer-reviewed information on the interaction between tourism and climate change.

TPCC’s mission 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”.

Under the leadership of the TPCC’s Executive Board — Professors Daniel Scott (Canada), Susanne Becken (Australia), and Geoffrey Lipman (Belgium) — 66 leading experts from around the world are contributing to outputs that support tourism’s transition to net-zero emissions and climate-resilient development.

Most (36) of the 66 tourism scientists and experts contribute to TPCC’s three working groups, which are focused on climate change adaptation, emissions reduction, and tourism policy and planning.

The other 30 experts, who sit on TPCC’s “Contributing Experts” Group, provide broader input and also add to the peer review process.

Finally, the work will be supported by an Advisory Board, which includes representatives of the tourism sector’s diverse stakeholders. The Board will meet for the first time in May to provide an additional support and engagement network.

In addition to Stocktakes and Science Assessments, TPCC will also produce Horizon Papers based on strategic knowledge gaps it identifies. At its launch at COP27, TPCC published the first two Horizon Papers; on aviation emissions and on financial risk.


About the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC)


The Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) is a neutral body of more than 60 tourism and climate scientists and experts who will provide a current-state assessment of the sector and objective metrics to public and private sector decision makers worldwide. It will produce regular assessments in line with the UNFCCC COP programs and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


About the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC)


The Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) is the world’s first multi-country, multi-stakeholder global coalition that will lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions, as well as drive action to protect nature and support communities. It will enable the transition while delivering knowledge, tools, financing mechanisms and innovation stimulation into the tourism sector.


The STGC was announced by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during the Saudi Green Initiative in October 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia then led a panel discussion during COP26 (November 2021) in Glasgow, United Kingdom, to elaborate on how the Center will deliver on its mandate with founding country representatives and experts from partner international organisations.


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