limate change is now firmly entrenched inthe global agenda. The United Nationshas been tasked with developing a globalresponse to the challenge of climatechange, coherent with the Millennium DevelopmentGoals. The tourism sector - which the World TourismOrganisation (UNWTO) represents - with its importanteconomic and social value, its role in sustainableTOURISM: RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE100TOURISMCDR TALEB RIFAI,SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS WORLDTOURISM ORGANISATION (UNWTO)Photo: UNPhoto/Eskinder DebebeAbove: Sustainabletourism will help createemployment anderadicate povertydevelopment and its strong relationship with climate,can and should make a significant contribution inresponding to this global challenge.Tourism and climate change are closely interrelated.Tourism is one of the most highly climate-sensitiveeconomic sectors with changes in climate havingprofound consequences on tourism destinations as
TOURISM101well as tourism flows, particularly in mountain andcoastal sites. Moreover, a wide variety of environmentalresources such as wildlife and biodiversity, key assets for tourism business, are extremely sensitive toclimate variability. Tourism also contributes to global warming. UNWTOestimates that tourism is responsible for around 5 percent of global carbon emissions. Yet this figure can beprogressively brought down through evolving globalagreements, public-private partnerships and newtechnologies. This is a commitment the tourism sectoris willing to embrace. The Davos Process, UNWTO'sclimate change response framework, not onlyacknowledges the reality of climate change and theinterrelationship with tourism but also that a long??term?