Canary Islands unveil emission reduction strategy for tourism sector at COP28 in Dubai

Canary Islands: "Our destination has been at the forefront in adopting the goals and pledges set forth in Glasgow as our own."

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the Canary Islands stood out as the only Spanish tourist destination to participate. This appearance emphasized the Canary Islands’ unique position as the sole Spanish region with a Climate Action Plan. This plan is specifically designed to reduce CO2 emissions in alignment with the goals of the Glasgow Declaration.

The Canary Islands’ Ministry of Tourism and Employment, represented by the public entity Canary Islands Tourism, showcased the steps being taken to minimize the carbon footprint of the region’s tourism sector. A key component of this initiative is the ‘Journey to decarbonization’ digital tool. This tool, freely available to tourism businesses, assists in measuring and subsequently reducing their emissions.

José Juan Lorenzo, the managing director of Canary Islands Tourism, and Environmental Sustainability technician Isabel Florido attended COP28, highlighting the region’s commitment to the Glasgow Declaration’s objective of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. They underscored the islands’ efforts in providing necessary support to the tourism industry for embracing the Declaration’s objectives.

Canary Islands Tourism’s presence at COP28, under the aegis of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), was significant. It joined other Glasgow Declaration signatories, which now number 857 globally, with only 261, including the islands, possessing a Climate Action Plan.

Canary Islands unveil emission reduction strategy for tourism sector at COP28 in Dubai

The Regional Minister for Tourism and Employment, Jéssica de León, pointed out the advantages of being the only Spanish destination at this key climate conference. The participation allowed the islands to not only share their experiences but also to engage in a global action plan aimed at creating specific solutions for a decarbonized world.

Canary Islands Tourism used this platform to exchange knowledge and experiences with other signatories and to promote their approach to potential new members of the Glasgow Declaration. The event also offered insights into various climate action strategies and innovative practices in tourism aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Canary Islands: ‘Journey to Decarbonisation’

In Dubai, Canary Islands Tourism representatives also discussed the ‘Journey to Decarbonisation’ digital tool. This tool offers businesses a free carbon footprint calculator, a self-diagnosis questionnaire, personalized recommendations, and downloadable resources to implement a climate action plan. This tool is accompanied by specialized advice from the Sustainability Office set up by Canary Islands Tourism, providing support services, webchat, and email assistance for queries related to the tool.

Additionally, training sessions on environmental sustainability and the tool’s usage are planned, particularly targeting SMEs that have not previously measured their carbon footprint.

Overall, the islands’ participation in COP28 highlights their proactive approach in integrating sustainability into the tourism sector, leveraging technology and collaborative efforts to advance environmental goals.

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