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Saudi aims for net zero emissions in tourism sector

RIYADH, October 24, 2021

Saudi Arabia's Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) will support travellers, governments, and the private sector, to ensure that tourism enables growth and creates jobs, while playing its part to achieve the climate goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, including contributing to keeping the world to under 1.5-degrees Celsius warming.
 
With the global travel and tourism sector responsible for eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the Kingdom has prioritised action to support this sector in its transition to net zero, Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported.
 
The Global Center, which was launched by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, will be the platform to bring all the knowledge and expertise; it aims to be the 'north star' for the tourism sector as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and transitions toward a sustainable future. 
 
Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb said: “The tourism sector contributes to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions – and this is expected to grow if we don’t act now. Tourism is also a highly fragmented sector. 80% of businesses in tourism are small and medium sized enterprises who rely on guidance and support from sector leadership.
 
“Saudi Arabia is answering this vital call by working with partners - that prioritise tourism, SMEs and climate - to create a multi-country, multi-stakeholder coalition, that will lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry’s transition to net zero emissions.
 
“By working together and delivering a strong joint platform, the tourism sector will have the support it needs. The STGC will facilitate growth while making tourism better for the climate, nature, and communities.”
 
Chief Special Advisor to the Minister of Tourism Gloria Guevara said: “For years and years, multiple players across the tourism sector have been working on different initiatives to accelerate the race to zero – but we have been working in silos. 
 
"The impact of the global pandemic on the tourism sector highlighted the importance of multi-country, multi-stakeholder collaboration. And now, Saudi Arabia is stepping up to bring stakeholders together to make tourism part of the solution to climate change.”



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