Madrid, Spain, June 5, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continues to steer global tourism towards a more sustainable future, partnering with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to green the sector and promote recovery and responsible growth.
Under the new Investment Readiness for Green Finance Mechanisms initiative, the United Nations specialized agency for tourism will work alongside IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries, on a series of training programmes. These will focus on both stimulating tourism’s recovery from the current crisis, while at the same time promoting green financing to enhance sustainability across the whole of the tourism value chain.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Sustainable tourism should no longer be considered a special niche. Instead, this pause in global travel offers us a chance to rethink tourism and make the whole sector more sustainable as we grow back better and stronger. This new initiative with IFC will provide valuable guidelines on Sustainable Tourism Investments that enhance tourism’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Facilitating Investments in Sustainability
At present, there are 200,000 hotels providing 18 million beds worldwide, with a further 2.4 million rooms in the pipeline. These alone account for 1% of global greenhouses gas (GHG) emissions and so increasing the sustainability of this part of the global tourism sector can make a significant contribution to climate-related Sustainable Development Goals. This new initiative is aimed at furthering this.
One of the main focuses will be working with private sector partners to promote green finance and share experience in resourcing sustainable buildings. The initial cooperation will consist in a series of trainings to promote green investments for a long term recovery of the tourism sector. The first training is planned to start on June 4th, 2020 in a webinar format, and it will culminate with an accreditation training for EDGE Experts. Government officials, hospitality investors, aggregators and tourism investment consultants are all invited to register their interest at https://www.unwto.org/green-investments-for-sustainable-tourism
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
An innovation of IFC, EDGE helps property developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way. EDGE is supported by free software that encourages solutions to reduce energy, water and the energy used to make building materials by at least 20 percent, which is the standard for EDGE certification. The program has been generously supported by the following donors: Austria, Canada, Denmark, ESMAP, EU, Finland, GEF, Hungary, Japan, Switzerland and the UK.