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NECSTouR Declares a Climate Emergency

Our commitment to Action

NECSTouR, the Network of European Regions for Competitive and Sustainable Tourism, recognises the urgent need to address climate change. The network, comprising 36 regions of Europe (including Region Istria) and 28 associated members, has signed up to Tourism Declares, an initiative that supports tourism destinations, organisations and businesses by declaring a climate emergency and taking action to reduce carbon emissions.

The biggest long-term challenge – and opportunity – for the tourism industry is sustainability and taking climate action. Tourism has a significant impact on carbon emissions; and our industry also stands to be adversely impacted by climate change. It is therefore vital that we ensure tourism also plays a role in contributing to a solution.

A more sustainable approach will provide benefits for businesses, visitors and communities. It will also support the delivery of recovery plans and a more resilient industry. Addressing the climate emergency is vital if we are to ensure the long-term survival of our industry and the many benefits it brings. It is also vital in protecting our planet for future generations. Like all signatories, we have committed to the following five actions:

1. Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade. In consultation with our members, and the beneficial exchange of good practices, we will build a NECSTouR climate action plan that supports and promotes the contribution of Europe’s regions to a greener recovery. We’ll ensure our plan represents regional activity designed to achieve this and that it delivers transparent and measurable reductions. Our starting point will be the NECSTouR Annual General Meeting 2021, where we will capture and develop action with our members as part of our focus on Building a Better Recovery Towards the Tourism of Tomorrow and creating Better Places to Live and Visit.

2. Share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year. This will include good practices and insights from our members, who are already working on a range of relevant projects and initiatives related to climate action. We will also work in partnership with existing and new alliances to build a repository of beneficial activities that support our objectives and the delivery and ongoing development of our climate action plan.

3. Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions that mainstream EU policies, financial instruments, good practices and projects to accelerate the European destinations’ transition to sustainability, contributing to Europe’s ambition of becoming the first climate neutral continent in the world.

4. Encourage members and strategic partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.

5. Advocate for change. We recognise the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism. Such is our network’s vision for the Tourism of Tomorrow 2050 and our ongoing work towards a more competitive and sustainable tourism for the regions of Europe – using interregional cooperation and innovation to deliver Better Places to Live and Visit.

We believe that NECSTouR, as the voice of European tourism regions committed to sustainability, can contribute positively to these actions, which will support and strengthen our own vision, mission and strategic activity. We want tourism - and the regions of Europe - to be part of the solution. To this end, we will work in partnership with our regions, Tourism Declares, the Travel Foundation and other key stakeholders to promote awareness, share expertise, and most importantly to deliver positive action through the development and promotion of our Climate Action Plan.

Tourism is a force for good. It delivers not just economic prosperity for communities in our regions, but also job creation, cultural diversity, international exchange and understanding between people. Tourism is also vital to pandemic recovery and we now have a significant opportunity to ensure that this recovery is responsible and sustainable – economically, socially and environmentally. By declaring, and taking action, we will also support the EU’s ambitious targets for sustainable growth, the principles of the Green Deal and the creation of Better Places to Live and Visit.

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