Renewable energy

The Hotel sector must cut Carbon Footprint by 90% to meet 2-degree climate threshold

The Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) states that the hotel sector must reduce its carbon footprint by 90% by 2050 in order to keep global warming below the 2-degree threshold agreed upon in the Paris Agreement.  

The Report by Greenview, commissioned by ITP, was published earlier in November, just before the start of COP23 (the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change) taking place in Bonn, Germany, where the convening parties will further discuss how to meet the Paris Climate Agreement agreed upon at COP21.  The Report reveals the huge contribution hotels must make to help in the fight against climate change.

In order to manage the global increase in tourism over the coming decades, the hotel industry must reduce its absolute carbon emissions by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, the Report states. The Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report was published to complement the September launch of ITP’s 4 Goals for 2030, which align the hotel sector’s sustainable activity with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called the Global Goals. The ITP Goals focus on Carbon, Water, Youth Employment and Human Rights, which are core sustainability issues impacting responsible hospitality providers globally, and the goals are a carefully constructed and practically achievable response to these issues.

The threshold of 2 degrees is a quantifiable “science-based target”, which forms the basis of ITP’s Goal on Carbon:

To drive sustainable growth for the future, ITP members embrace the ambition of science-based targets* and encourage the wider industry to join their collaboration to develop carbon reductions at scale.

Fran Hughes, the Director of ITP, said at the announcement of the Report: “These figures are significant, but we believe they are achievable. They are representative of the level of reduction the whole hotel sector needs to make in order to decouple its growth, from growth in emissions. The reductions individual companies need to make may vary, dependent on where they are located and their infrastructure. That’s why we’re encouraging hotels to develop their own science-based target.

“The technology exists today to fully decarbonise the sector. Solving the issue of climate change becomes how to accelerate the solutions which are currently available. To do so, hotel industry leaders will need to support an evolution of thought and approach to make it happen through carbon pricing and how projects are financed.

“ITP’s members support our vision and our four ITP Goals which tackle carbon, water, youth unemployment and human rights. We are supporting our members with research and best practice sharing to build their capacity to develop science-based targets. Going forward we want to explore opportunities to collaborate where we can deliver carbon reductions at scale.”

Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Frankfurt is mentioned as a case study in the Report. 

Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Frankfurt is mentioned as a case study in the Report. 

Founder of Greenview, Eric Ricaurte, added:

“We all share one planetary KPI: 2-degree temperature rise or less. Now translating that to each industry and company, we can shift focus toward the opportunities to decarbonise while protecting what travellers value. No other sector like tourism will play a role in literally shaping the future of our world.”


* A Science-Based Target is one adopted by a company to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is considered “science-based” if it is in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C. It is based in scientific research and evidence.

Source and Pictures: International Tourism Partnership