the world's GDP and 6-7 per cent of total employment.Tourism has become a key component of global trade,currently generating close to US$3 billion a day inoverall export incomes; accounting for as much as 30per cent of the world's exports of commercial services;and carrying 880 million people across internationalborders in 2009 - spending US$852 billion in the process. Understanding these figures is critical when facing today's major global challenge of a fragile, uneven and jobless recovery and working towards sustained and balanced future growthand development. For many developing countries, tourism is one of their main sustainable income sources, creating mush needed employment and opportunities for development, especially in rural areas. Indeed, in 2009, emerging economies received 410 million international tourist arrivals, a 47 per cent share of the world's total, and US$306 billion in international tourism receipts, 36 per cent of the total. AIR TRANSPORT AND TOURISM Tourism is estimated to be responsible for about fiveper cent of global carbon emissions. Of this, 40 percent comes from air passenger transport, the major,and a growing, contributor to global Greenhouse Gases(GHGs) generated by visitors. In 2009, 51 per cent ofthe 880 million international tourists worldwide arrivedat their destinations by air. In many destinations,particularly those in small islands developing states, inCentral and West Africa or in Central and SouthAmerica, the proportion was much higher.Tourism has an interest and a responsibility to reduce global emissions, advancing adaptation andmitigation strategies in all tourism industries from airtransport to accommodation and other tourismactivities. Yet, mitigation measures, namely thoseaimed at air transport, cannot be taken in isolation,without consideration of the broader tourismframework and its massive contribution to social and economic development and poverty eradication; considered the first and overridingpriorities of developing countries by the CopenhagenAccord. Measures to reduce global greenhouseemissions from air transport cannot afford to ignorethis reality.Despite emitting the least greenhouse gases,developing countries are also the regions most at riskfrom climate change, threatening their economicgrowth and long-term prosperity, and would be doublyaffected if deprived of their income from tourism. Consistent with its commitment to the UN MillenniumDevelopment Goals, and to poverty alleviation inparticular, UNWTO believes that differing treatment isTOURISM075?
fundamental to any long-term multilateral frameworkfor the mitigation of GHG emissions. In particular,UNWTO has recently called for the application of theUNFCCC principle of Common but DifferentiatedResponsibilities amongst countries to alleviatenegative impacts on tourism in developing countries,where the sector accounts for as much as 45 per centof the service export earnings. TOURISM AT COP16United Nations climate negotiations represent ahistorical opportunity to meet the challenge of creatinga more sustainable planet; an opportunity not to be missed. In particular, COP16 is a platform from which toformalise pledges and promises made to cut and limitemissions and provide clarity on the continuation ofthe Kyoto protocol. It is also a chance to ensure thatthe funding pledges coming out of Copenhagen -US$30 billion in climate support for developingeconomies, with a goal of reaching US$100 billion inannual funding by 2020 - start flowing. Some of thisfunding could be channelled into sustainable tourismprojects, providing key development options for local communities. From the tourism perspective, it is a chance tocontinue pushing for the sector to be seen as a wholewithin the evolving UN framework, and to ensure thatits positive effects on economic growth, developmentand poverty alleviation, not just air emissions, providethe content for debate. nABOUT THE AUTHORDr Taleb Rifai was elected Secretary-General of theUNWTO on May 12, 2009.Prior to that, he wasDeputy Secretary-General of the UNWTO and, from1999 to 2003, the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. His other posts included that of the Director ofJordan's Economic Mission to Washington, theDirector-General of the Jordanian InvestmentPromotion Corporation and the Chairman of theJordan Tourism Board. Dr Rifai also served as the Minister of Planning andInternational Cooperation from 1995 to 1997, whenhe was actively involved in policy making anddeveloping investment strategies . Dr Rifai was responsible for founding Jordan's firstArchaeological Park in the ancient city of Petra, incollaboration with UNESCO and the World Bank, and other projects in Jerash, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. 076TOURISM" "THE COPENHAGEN ACCORD HAS BEEN ENDORSED BY OVER 110 COUNTRIES, REPRESENTING AT LEAST 80 PER CENT OF WORLD EMISSIONS AND A SIMILAR PERCENTAGE OF GDP.UN Photo/WFP/Amjad Jamal Above:Climate Groupfounder Dr StephenHoward Pictured:Victims of2010 floods in Pakistan.Despite emitting the leastgreenhouse gases,developing countries arethe regions most at riskfrom climate change.