This week’s One Last Thing will strike a chord for many. As TTG went to press, thousands of climate change protesters had taken over London landmarks including Waterloo Bridge.
More protests were set to take place in 33 countries while David Attenborough reminded the nation on Thursday night why climate change is a global problem. And although last week’s disruption in London might have caused frustration for some, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore this fact.
This week’s columnist Noel Josephides is all too aware of this. A stalwart of the travel industry, he’s also unafraid to highlight just how crucial a role travel has to play in tackling climate change. Airlines, for instance, are buying hundreds of new aircraft, but no matter how green these are, says Noel, the increase in volume outweighs any fuel and emissions efficiency. He has a point.
The government’s attempt to tackle this through Air Passenger Duty, once billed as a “green tax”, is an abject failure. Last year, TTG quizzed aviation minister Baroness Sugg on where the money raised from APD goes. Her unsurprising answer? “The Treasury”. And she confirmed none is allocated to any funding, environmental or otherwise.
Tourism is not only a contributor to global emissions, it’s also an industry that will be hugely affected by climate change – small island nations such as the Seychelles and Maldives, among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, are alarmingly aware of this.
Thankfully though, so too are increasing numbers of those working in travel. This week, we highlight the agents getting involved with conservation efforts on fam trips, while Hurtigruten, together with its agent partners, this month conducted a series of clean-up days at nature reserves around the UK.
It might feel like we’re a small cog in a big wheel, but when we all pull together, it’s possible for our sector to a make difference.