Prince Harry Launches Sustainable Travel Initiative 'Travalyst' With 5 Big Industry Players
Prince Harry launched a sustainable travel initiative Tuesday in Amsterdam, a city that has been impacted by excessive tourism, the Associated Press reported.
The initiative, called Travalyst, is a partnership between the Duke of Sussex and five major industry partners: Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Visa, Chinese travel company Ctrip and Ctrip-owned Skyscanner. It will work to reduce the travel industry's contribution to the climate crisis, boost conservation and environmental protection in tourist destinations, work to make sure more tourism money goes to local communities and find solutions to over-tourism.
"Sometimes when we appreciate the world's beauty, we heighten its fragility," Prince Harry said, as The New York Times reported. "It's a paradox. But in our enthusiasm we can put great strain on the natural wonders we travel to see as well as the communities that call these places home."
The initiative comes as travel is on the rise, the Associated Press reported. The number of trips taken every year has more than doubled since 2000, according to the World Bank. In 2018, people around the world took 1.4 billion international trips, a figure that was reached two years faster than the UN's World Tourism Organization predicted. The initiative also comes amidst growing awareness of the travel industry's impact on the environment and the climate. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg recently completed a high-profile sailing trip to New York City in order to avoid flying. Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also faced criticism for flying on a private jet this summer to visit singer Elton John, the Associated Press reported.
While Harry's travel initiative has been in development for three years, Kensington Palace told The New York Times, some criticized the timing of the launch, The Guardian reported. The companies involved could not provide details and said that more announcements would be made in the next 18 months.
Prince Harry addressed his travel habits in Amsterdam.
"I came here by commercial. I spend 99 percent of my life traveling the world by commercial," he said in a video shared by Bloomberg News. He said he could not rule out the use of private jets for security reasons, but always tried to balance out his impact by offsetting his carbon dioxide emissions.
Prince Harry just launched a sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst https://t.co/X0mdj5WpmC— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake by Bloomberg)1567566011.0
Part of Travalyst's goal will be to help travelers understand the environmental impacts of their choices.
"We want to make sustainability a priority across the entire travel experience," Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans told The New York Times. "Another goal is how to minimize the environmental footprint of travel, and the other goal is to protect and preserve local environments, welfare and cultural heritage and help to improve the welfare of local people for the longer term."
This is the first sustainable travel initiative that Harry has supported, but he has previously promoted environmental conservation projects in Africa. Tans said he was evidently passionate about the issue in meetings.
"If you think about the duke, for all his life he has been supporting conservation projects, and also he has traveled so much and has seen the connection between environmental damage, community struggles and tourism," Tans told The New York Times.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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