India has opposed a move of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to negotiate on the impact of climate change on tourism saying the best platform for global negotiations is United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Secretary Tourism S Banerjee told UNWTO conference in London last week that the UNFCCC has one of the largest numbers of state parties to any multilateral instrument.
“It is, therefore, appropriate that matters relating to climate change are addressed in the UNFCC,” he said.
The secretary also said that the organisation should pay attention to policy measures in tourism and keep away from matters related to negotiations on climate change, being addressed by other forums.
The UNWTO had recently come out with a report on the impact of climate change on the tourism sector saying it would hit the sector in a big way with receding glaciers, extreme climate conditions and receding water bodies.
The competitive position of certain popular tourist spots like the Mediterranean in summer are expected to decline whereas that of southern England and southern Canada are likely to improve, the report said. In India, the report said, some tourist spots in the Himalayan region would lose their relevance because of receding glaciers and extreme climatic conditions.
The conference was called to discuss the findings of the report and chalk a strategy to minimise the impact on the tourism sector.
Banerjee said the best way to cope with climate change is development. He also said India was bearing the brunt of climate change on account of high carbon emissions by the developed world.
Banerjee also said that the move to introduce tourist destination carbon print – meaning tax for generating additional carbon – should not be used as non-tariff barriers to the flow of tourism in the world. UNWTO had proposed the carbon footprint concept to check the impact of tourism on climate change.