Sparking Carbon Removal in Travel

Tourism Cares members represent more than 160 companies and organizations that reach millions of travelers each year. They recently invited Tomorrow’s Air co-founder Christina Beckmann to contribute a guest post on their blog inviting companies to learn more about our mission. Read this excerpt if you work in a travel business and are considering bringing Tomorrow's Air unique blend of carbon removal and positive climate action education into your strategy.

The Travel Business Opportunity

There’s little debate anymore about the urgency for all people to take action on climate change. For people working in travel, there's an opportunity now to do our part to help restore our climate: we can reduce new carbon emissions from travel and help clean up the trillions of tons of legacy emissions already stored in our atmosphere. 

There’s scientific consensus that we need fast action to scale up our capacity to remove carbon dioxide with the help of technology. Most travel professionals are well aware that our Earth’s natural systems for absorbing carbon such as soil, ocean, trees, are in vital need of protection and restoration. What’s new, however, is the role of carbon removal technology and the necessity of its scale-up to support our natural systems. The stage is set with a few key facts:

  • Scientists estimate we need to remove over 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year by 2050. 
  • If all human carbon dioxide emissions were to stop today, some experts calculate it would take approximately 900 years for natural systems alone to handle the carbon emissions stored in our atmosphere
  • All future scenarios for keeping temperature increase on Earth below 1.5 degrees, include carbon removal. Among the carbon removal options, carbon removal technologies which scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are recognized for their ability to support natural systems and speed up the rate at which we reduce carbon dioxide concentration. An example of this is direct air capture carbon removal
  • People have opportunity to invest in and support the scale-up of carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture now, in order to have the capacity for them to provide gigaton scale removal us in the next thirty years (e.g. by 2050)

Travel contributes eight percent of global emissions when we consider the flights, accommodation, meals, ground transport and shopping. Travelers themselves are devoted appreciators of all the world has to offer, and with literally billions of them (pre-covid) generating ten percent of global GDP, it seems we could have the potential to exert some influence.

What if travel - the travelers and the businesses who serve them - united to help scale up carbon removal tech alongside our support for re-wilding, forest and marine conservation projects? Could we not be part of the grand gigaton scale solution the world needs?

This is the spirit that drove the creation of Tomorrow’s Air. Incubated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, Tomorrow’s Air provides travelers and travel companies a way to support carbon removal via direct air capture with permanent storage along with creative inspiration and education to mobilize a global collective. 

If you aren't supporting to carbon removal innovations yet, what's holding you back?

  • Is it your confidence in your understanding of the issue and ability to make a smart decision that keeps you from making a move? 
  • Is it the structure internally of your business that makes allocating funding a challenge? For example, some businesses, particularly travel advisory businesses struggle to find ways to incorporate something like this in their commission-based model. 
  • Do you or people in your company leadership disagree with the science?

Share your thoughts and questions with us by emailing

We want to keep the benefits of travel - the revenues for local livelihoods, the funding for conservation, not to mention the pure exhilaration and fun of meeting new people and experiencing new places - and we want to address this important negative consequence of how we’ve typically traveled. We realize that we need to do many things at once: reduce our emissions, transform how we deliver travel experiences, and also help clean up all the legacy emissions stored in our atmosphere. 

By inspiring each other to make travel a force for good, the Tourism Cares community is ensuring the future prosperity of the people and places who rely on it. Thanks for the opportunity to speak to your community Tourism Cares!

Uniting and empowering travelers.

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