During the official naming ceremony for the most energy-efficient vessel in MSC history, MSC Euribia, international leaders from science, policy, and business explored new approaches to responsible tourism consumption and production as a key strategy for transforming the blue economy into a regenerative, carbon-neutral, and circular one.
Ocean Action: United Nations and Private Sector
During an expert panel, organized by the MSC Foundation and UNWTO, a variety of public and private sector leaders contributed to a discussion on “Tourism Ocean Action for a Net Zero Future.”
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson, and UNWTO Executive Director Zoritsa Urosevic opened the event.
Private sector representatives included Pierfrancesco Vago, Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee and Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division.
Among the speakers were world-renowned explorer Mike Horn, Amy Meek, Co-Founder of Kids Against Plastic, Carl Gustaf Lundin, Senior Adviser at Mission Blue and Member of MSC Foundation Advisory Board, and Frédéric Degret, CEO of NOAH Regen and Special Advisor to the UNWTO on Ocean and Climate Action.
The Ocean Panel estimates that coastal and maritime tourism contribute at least 50% of global tourism, and 40% of all exports, so the high-level discussions focused on the important relationship between tourism and ocean sustainability.
To achieve this, strategies outlined focused on ensuring that blue carbon ecosystems are protected and regenerated and nature-based solutions are used that maximize their ability to draw down carbon emissions, while simultaneously decarbonizing tourism operations and strengthening local communities’ resilience.
Tourism ocean action was accelerated through the sharing of insightful policies, strategies, and solutions by decision makers and business leaders. These initiatives were the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, the Global Roadmap for Food Waste Reduction in Tourism, and the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism.
An Ocean Action Plan for Tourism
A balance between tourism operations and our planet’s health has never been more critical, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. The global economy relies heavily on coastal and cruise tourism.
Furthermore, promoting coastal tourism and cruise tourism can help protect our oceans. The UNWTO supports Climate Action through partnerships such as MSC.
The Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee, Pierfrancesco Vago, also Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s Cruise Division, said: “Our partnership with UNWTO, as exemplified in the ‘Tourism Ocean Action for a Net Zero Future’ panel, is crucial to the success of our shared vision of responsible tourism. We have made this commitment exemplified by the MSC Euribia, our most energy-efficient ship yet. Our goal is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, exceeding the International Maritime Organization’s 40% reduction goal before 2030.”
“In order to achieve sustainability, we must travel together in dialogue and concerted action,” said Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation. To make this event possible, I would like to express my appreciation to UNWTO for their valued partnership.
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