Travel & Tourism

New First of its Kind Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) Unveiled Today at COP27

  • ‘Foundation Framework’ for TPCC announced during COP27
  • TPCC – created by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center – will develop indicators to help accelerate tourism climate action
  • TPCC will advance tourism’s progress towards Paris Climate Agreement goals

The three Executive Board Members of the Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) launched today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, a ‘Foundation Framework’ setting out key milestones for this first of its kind initiative.

The TPCC represents a new era of global collaboration to provide vital independent and impartial metrics that will support the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions and climate resilient development. Its mission is “to inform and rapidly advance science-based climate action across the global tourism system in support of the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement”.

The TPCC brings together more than 60 leading experts from over 30 countries and from across academia, business, and civil society, under the leadership of Professors Daniel Scott, Susanne Becken and Geoffrey Lipman. The three Executive board members presented today the ‘Foundation Framework’ for the new international Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC) in a panel organized by the STGC to facilitate a new era of climate resilient tourism which is on track to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and advances the Sustainable Development Goals.

The TPCC has been created by the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), led by Saudi Arabia, the world’s first multi-country, multi-stakeholder global coalition to lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions, as well as drive action to protect nature and support communities.  

During a technical session at COP27, the TPCC Executive team shared its  ‘Foundation Framework’, which outlines its three major outputs:

  1. Climate Action Stock Take Reports – The TPCC will develop a new set of peer-reviewed and open-source indicators that track important connections between climate change and tourism, including progress on sector commitments in support of Paris Climate Agreement goals. TPCC will publish an update of these metrics every three years, with the first to be delivered at COP28 in 2023.
  2. Science Assessment – The TPCC will undertake the first comprehensive synthesis in more than 15 years of the state of tourism relevant knowledge about climate change emission trends, impacts, future risks, and a focus on mitigation and adaptation solutions. This assessment will include an open and transparent review process and will be published in time for COP29 in 2024.
  3. Horizon Papers – The TPCC will identify strategic knowledge gaps to meet the sector’s Paris Climate Agreement obligations through expert reviews and new analysis to support policy and decision-makers.

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “The Sustainable Tourism Global Center’s mandate is to lead, track and accelerate the global tourism industry’s transition to net-zero. A crucial step in delivering on this mandate is for the industry and destinations to be able to track and measure their progress. Commissioning the TPCC enables stakeholders – large and small – across the sector to access the information needed to measure their progress towards net-zero emissions.”

Her Excellency Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor at the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia reiterated, “The STGC’s aim is to inform and encourage stakeholders to take urgent action to address the climate crisis. To this end, the TPCC will produce a vital scientific benchmark against which we can measure progress in the sector’s transition to net-zero emissions and climate readiness.”

Professor Scott said, “The climate crisis demands a whole-of-society response. The tourism sector has embraced science-based emission targets and this initiative will deliver vital data and research to accelerate the transition of tourism to the net-zero economy of the future. Having worked as a climate change academic for over 20 years, I am delighted to be part of this bold commitment of such a large and dedicated group of tourism focused climate scientists to inject vital new collaborations that will inform and empower intensified sector-wide climate action.”

Professor Becken said, “What we know from science is that the gate is closing on the pathways to save humanity from the catastrophic events caused by climate change. Tourism can be a key player in advancing climate resilient development, and connecting the best knowledge we have with tourism policy and action. Ultimately, every fraction of a degree of warming saved will help save lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems.”

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Professor Lipman said, “TPCC can provide the clear metrics for tourism that are urgently needed, on which real action must be taken, to play our part in the global response to the existential climate crisis. TPCC will deliver timely, objective, science-based assessments that inform and enhance decision-making towards Paris 1.5. As the UN Secretary General has warned, the climate crisis is a ‘Code Red Emergency for humanity’. To play its part in the response, tourism stakeholders need to act based on the best objective assessment of the impacts and challenges. This is will TPCC will provide.”


The TPCC – Tourism Panel on Climate Change is a neutral body of more than 60 tourism and climate scientists and experts who will provide a current state assessment of the sector and objective metrics to public and private sector decisionmakers worldwide. It will produce regular assessments in line with the UNFCCC COP programs and the IPCC.

TPCC’s three-member Executive has wide-ranging expertise in the intersection of tourism, climate change and sustainability.

  • Professor Daniel Scott – Professor and Research Chair in Climate & Society, University of Waterloo (Canada); Contributing author and reviewer for the Third, Fourth and Fifth PICC Assessment Reports and Special Report on 1.5°
  • Professor Susanne Becken – Professor of Sustainable Tourism, Griffith University (Australia) and the University of Surrey (UK); Winner of UNWTO’s Ulysses Prize; Contributing author to the Fourth and Fifth IPCC Assessment Reports
  • Professor Geoffrey Lipman – Envoy for STGC; former Assistant Secretary General UNWTO; former Executive Director IATA; current President SUNx Malta; Co-author of books on Green Growth & Travelism & EIU Studies on Air Transport

The Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC) is the world’s first multi-country, multi-stakeholder global coalition that will lead, accelerate, and track the tourism industry’s transition to net-zero emissions, as well as drive action to protect nature and support communities. It will enable the transition while delivering knowledge, tools, financing mechanisms and innovation stimulation into the tourism sector.

The STGC was announced by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during the Saudi Green Initiative in October 2021 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia then led a panel discussion during COP26 (November 2021) in Glasgow, United Kingdom, to elaborate on how the Center will deliver on its mandate with founding country representatives and experts from partner international organizations.

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