More research from IMEX (click here) found more than the usual "survey the industry"-type results with a new study. Along with confirming that association meeting planners still have their usual perennial concerns about offering better value at their meetings and broadening the appeal of their programs--especially to the younger generations and international attendees, the study found that
- Association planners display strengthening attitudes towards the emerging issues of global warming and climate change. Already more than half (53%) of respondents acknowledge that more should be done by the meetings industry to respond to these challenges. As examples some suggest that ‘only ecologically-sound venues should be used’
whilst others agree that ‘it is no longer acceptable to create high levels of waste’. It is recognised that certain destinations which lack environmental credentials are already beginning to miss meetings opportunities. A small proportion argue that ‘this is not our task
and that association planners should not be entering into a political debate’. They do not consider that meetings deserved to be labelled a ‘major pollutant’.
While they may not be a major cause of pollution, I'm firmly with the majority on this one. We all have to do what we can to clean up our messes. And earlier today, I read that airplane contrails are contributing to global warming.
- Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers said that global air traffic may increase sixfold by 2050. Already, in areas of highest air traffic in Europe, contrails can cover up to 3.8 percent of the sky at any given time, while in the northeast U.S., contrails can cover up to 5.5 percent of the sky. Those contrails contribute to the greenhouse effect.
The researchers predict that for Europe as a whole, contrail coverage will increase by a factor of four by 2050. Over the continental U.S., contrails will increase 2.6 times, and over Asia as a whole, contrails will increase by a factor of 10. The scientists say they believe these estimates are conservative.
I doubt we'll give up air travel any time soon, and with several of our major airlines teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, I doubt they have the money or the inclination to try to resolve it. But putting our heads in the sand is not the answer, either. Glad to hear so many association planners agree.
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