This article was originally published on 5 November 2021 and updated on 9 November 2023.
We are in a climate and biodiversity crisis.
At Projects Abroad, we believe that international travel, rather than contributing to the crisis, can be a major part of the solution.
For decades, we’ve mobilised the enthusiasm of our volunteers and the funds they bring to help combat environmental degradation. Since 2015, we’ve collected 82 tonnes of plastics, planted 130,000 trees, released 320,000 turtle hatchlings, and removed 2,245 snares, to name just a few initiatives. We’ve also run a carbon offsetting initiative for flights we booked for volunteers.
However, we realise that this is not enough, and we need to do more. That’s why we’ve made the commitment to be fully climate-positive in 2023. We will try to achieve this by measuring and decarbonising all our operations and projects. We will focus more of our volunteer projects on initiatives that benefit the environment. This means expanding our reforestation, rewilding, regeneration, and animal release efforts. We will also continue to commit to increasing employment in local communities we serve around the world. This is incredibly important for conservation because it creates viable local economic alternatives in rural areas and increases the value of conserving natural landscapes.
We are more than the sum of our parts. The only way we’ll successfully decarbonise travel is for all organisations related to international travel to collaborate together. That’s why we are declaring a Climate Emergency as part of the Tourism Declares initiative and signed the Glasgow Declaration, and encourage others to do the same.
As part of Tourism Declares, and by declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency, we are publicly committing to the following actions:
1. We publicly accept the current IPCC advice that we need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 to keep the planet within 1.5°C of warming.
2. We are developing a Climate Action Plan with a science-based target to become climate-positive in 2023.
3. We commit to publicly communicating both our plan and our progress.
4. We will work with our partners and competitors to encourage them to make their own declaration and with the Tourism Declares community to share best practices and solutions with the wider travel industry.
5. We recognise the need for system change across the industry and will join others in calling for urgent regulatory action to accelerate the transition towards zero-carbon air travel.
Click here to read the full Climate Action Plan.