We might be small, but we’re up there with the biggest players in the sector, being one of the first tour operators in the world to join COP26’s climate action in tourism declaration.

The 26th UN climate change conference (COP26) is well underway, with world leaders meeting in Glasgow discussing how climate change will be tackled and agreeing on national and global policies and targets.

On November 4, the ‘Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism’ was launched, with some of the biggest businesses in the industry joining governments and destinations’ commitment to cut emissions in half by 2030 and to achieve Net Zero by 2050 at the latest.

Blank Canvas is delighted to share the exciting news that we have become one of the first tour operators in the world to sign up to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism in collaboration with the United Nations (UN).

Being one of the first tour operators to sign up, we are a launch partner of the Declaration.

The Glasgow Declaration Climate Action in Tourism acts as a catalyst for increased action into the need to accelerate climate action in tourism. It is aimed at securing strong action and commitment to reduce tourism emissions in by 50% during the next decade and to reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050.

The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism to centred on encouraging and enabling all travel and tourism stakeholders to sign and demonstrate, as a united industry, a shared voice and commitment to aligning travel and tourism’s climate ambitions with scientific recommendations and international agreements.

Being a signatory to the Declaration, Blank Canvas is committed to supporting these ideals in the global race to half commissions by 2030 and to reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.

As part of the Declaration, we are committed to delivering climate action plans within 12 months of signing up.  

As a means of accelerating and co-ordinating climate action in tourism, Blank Canvas pledges to align our plans with the five pathways of the Declaration, which include Measure, Decarbonise, Regenerate, Collaborate and Finance.

Tourism operators signing up to the Declaration are required to work in a collaborative spirit, share good practices and solutions, and to disseminate information to encourage additional organisations to become signatories and to support one another to help collectively achieve climate change goals.

Jack Duncan, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Blank Canvas, commented on the important role the travel industry needs to play in the race to eliminating emissions: 

“We travel to discover and to better understand this beautiful planet we call home; but the sad irony of doing so is that we harm our home in the process. This need not be the case, and we in the travel industry have a crucial role to play in turning the tide. Climate Change is happening now. So now is the time to take action. Only by working together – not only as an industry, but humanity as a whole – can we tackle the urgent challenges that lay before us,” said Jack Duncan.

The criteria for signing up to the Declaration shares the ethos, standards and objectives Blank Canvas has long adhered to.

We might be a small, family-run tour operator but we think big, always considering the wider implications of travel. We have long been committed to supporting local communities, wildlife, and the environment, through ethical and sustainable travel.

Our travel packages are created in-line with sustainable and responsible tourism, centred on the belief tourism should minimise negative economic, environmental, and social impacts. We believe that tourism makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and should act as enabling people to have a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues.

We are thrilled to be one of the first tour operators in the world to sign up to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in tourism in collaboration with the UN. We look forward to taking our commitment to sustainable practices further and fulfilling the promises to ensure the tourism sector plays its part in cutting emissions in half by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by 2050 at the latest.