The worsening effects of climate change have made decarbonization a top priority for many industries including global travel and tourism, which already accounts for between 8 and 11 percent of the world’s emissions. If nothing is done, carbon emissions will only rise as the sector grows. Travel activity is expected to soar by 85 percent from 2016 to 2030.
Increasingly, consumers, employees, regulators, and investors have been ramping up pressure for the sector to reduce its carbon emissions and have been considering reducing travel demand as a solution. In response, more travel companies have pledged to reach net zero. But obstacles stand in the way. The range of decarbonization technologies in the market is limited, and what’s available is expensive. the emissions that the sector produces are hard to abate, due to the high costs and scant availability of decarbonization technologies.
While demand reduction may need to be part of the answer, there are many practical steps travel companies can take right now to accelerate their journey toward greater sustainability—and potentially create value while doing so.
In this report, McKinsey & Company and Skift Research explore four high-priority areas for travel companies to focus their decarbonization efforts to catalyze the most meaningful outcomes for the environment, their customers, and themselves.