- Germany leads the way in reducing absolute emissions in Travel and Tourism
- The sector’s GDP has grown by an average of 1.5% per year while greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 1.1% annually.
Berlin, Germany — The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi Arabia-based Global Center for Sustainable Tourism have unveiled groundbreaking new data detailing the climate footprint of Germany’s Travel and Tourism sector.
In one of the largest research projects of its kind, WTTC can for the first time accurately report and track the impact the sector has on the environment.
According to this groundbreaking new data, Germany is one of the few major countries where Travel and Tourism has continued to grow, reducing its absolute emissions.
In 2019, the sector was responsible for 10.3% of total greenhouse gas emissions across Germany.
This fell by more than four percentage points, to reach 5.9% in 2020 and 5.8% in 2021, mainly due to reduced activity in the sector during the pandemic period.
Between 2010 and 2019, the German Travel and Tourism sector decoupled greenhouse gas emissions from its growth.
During this period, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by an average of 1.1% per year, while the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to the German economy increased by an average of 1.5% per year.
The figures also show that the emissions intensity of the sector continues to decrease.
In 2010, for every €1 generated by Travel and Tourism in Germany, the sector emitted 0.55 kg of greenhouse gases.
In 2019, when Travel and Tourism was at its peak, this figure fell by 22% to 0.43 kg per €1 generated and continued to fall in subsequent years to a low of 0.36 kg per €1 in 2021.
This significant decline illustrates the impact of changes implemented by the German government and business leaders to create a more sustainable sector.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said: “Our data shows that Germany is one of the few Travel and Tourism hubs that is reducing its absolute emissions while continuing to grow year on year.
“The Travel and Tourism sector has decoupled its economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions and continues to reduce its emissions intensity, but we know there is still work to be done. To achieve our goals and ambitions, we need to take bigger and bolder steps to reduce our absolute emissions.
“We need government support in accelerating the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, which will have a significant impact on our footprint as well as bringing more renewable energy to our national grids.”
The global tourism body also provides insights into energy use and efficiency in the sector, and shows that between 2010 and 2019, the sector’s total energy use grew by just 0.2% per year.
This shows that as Travel and Tourism continued to grow, it also became more energy efficient.
Between 2019 and 2021, the sector has reduced its energy intensity by 18.3%, highlighting the steps taken by Travel and Tourism to reduce energy use.
This comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated annually with the latest figures.
This research was made possible thanks to the partnership between the WTTC and the Global Center for Sustainable Tourism based in Saudi Arabia. Under the Saudi Green Initiative, more than 60 initiatives have been launched in the past year, representing more than $186 billion in investment in the green economy.
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