The details included in these reports are chilling, with many corporations citing severe weather events as certain to occur.
Many hotel brands around the world fear that extreme weather conditions will lead to water shortages in the next few years, while some airlines worry about heavy and unpredictable winds.
So, for example, AccorHotels and Hilton are worried about droughts and inadequate water supply while American and Japan airlines point to the hazards of increased hurricanes and cyclones.
This is according to surveys conducted by a UK climate nonprofit, the CDP, which asked public and private companies around the world to describe in detail risks they believe are associated with climate change.
The results of the survey highlight the intensity of the impact climate change will likely have on the travel industry, rendering some destinations too hot to be desirable, causing widespread damage to infrastructure, and disrupting food and water supply. While some of these companies projected that the risks would go into effect in the next decade or so, many companies listed them as current issues, especially hurricanes and droughts.
Not all companies reported climate-related risks, though. Dalata Hotels, Ireland’s largest hotel company, said they perceived no significant risks. They had not set aside any resources or strategies to tackle climate change.
The global climate UN convention met in December, and developed new rules to try to regulate 97 percent of global carbon emissions. But emissions have been nearly impossible to reduce without all the countries involved making a full commitment. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will withdraw from the climate agreement as soon as possible, and has begun weakening policies aimed at slowing climate change.
The CDP sends requests to large companies from all sectors — not just travel — and released letter grades Tuesday for the 7,000 companies that responded. Marriott, for example, got a C for its work on combatting climate change, while Scandic Hotels got an A-. Dalata Hotels, the group that reported no climate risks, does not have a grade available at this time. However, the company received an F in 2017 and 2016.
Here are some of the risks hotels and airlines described, ranked by most common:
Hotels Weighed In On Climate Change Risks
|Hotels||Potential Physical Risks From Climate Change||Number of Hotel Brands That Cited the Risk|
|AccorHotels, Hilton, Host Hotels, Hyatt, Indian Hotels, Marriott, Meliá, NH Hotels, Scandic||Drought and inadequate water supply||9|
|Hilton, Host Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott, Meliá, Millennium & Copthorne||Hurricanes and cyclones||6|
|AccorHotels, Host Hotels, Hyatt, Indian Hotels, Meliá, Millennium & Copthorne||Flooding||6|
|Hilton, Host Hotels, Hyatt, Indian Hotels||Rising sea levels||4|
|Hyatt, Marriott, Meliá, Scandic Hotels||Higher mean temperature||4|
|Host Hotels, NH Hotels, Scandic Hotels||Extreme heat or cold||3|
|AccorHotels, Marriott||Food supply disrupted||2|
|Hyatt, Meliá||Wild fires||2|
Airlines Cited These Risk From Global Warming
|Airlines||Potential Physical Risks From Climate Change||Number of Airlines Who Cited It As A Risk|
|American Airlines, Delta, Japan Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United||Hurricanes and cyclones||5|
|American Airlines, Delta, Scandinavian Airlines, United||Increased Precipitation||4|
|American Airlines, Delta, International Airlines Group, Scandinavian Airlines||Flooding in airports||4|
|American Airlines, Delta, International Airlines Group||High winds||3|
|International Airlines Group, Southwest Airlines||Snow and ice||2|
|Scandinavian Airlines||Volcanic eruptions||1|
|United||Lower air density||1|
|International Airlines Group||Heavy Fog||1|
Hotels received letter grades for their work on climate change risks
|Hotel Brands||Letter Grade|
|Milennium & Copthorne||A-|
Airlines received lower grades than hotels
Photo credit: Many people believe that climate change was a contributing factor to the severity of the California wildfires in January 2019. Bloomberg