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Mon 11 Feb 2008 05:35 PM

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PATA calls for climate change action

Association's CEO warns that weather mayhem could become a regular occurrence across Asia Pacific if climate change issues are not addressed.

Freak weather conditions and transport mayhem are likely to become more common if government and industry leaders don't start taking urgent action to combat climate change, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today warned.

PATA issued the warning after the worst winter storms in more than half a century paralysed large sections of China (PRC) at the start of the Lunar New Year.

Tens of millions of migrant workers had their once-a-year journeys back to their families in the countryside severely disrupted by the storms.

 "The Chinese authorities moved quickly to restore power to cities, reopen road, rail and air links and manage the travelling crowds with compassion and efficiency," said PATA president and CEO Peter de Jong. "However, the onus is on leaders around the world to ensure that we better understand climate change and take innovative, practical steps to reduce our carbon emissions."

He added: "Imagine a world where these sudden, extreme conditions happen every few weeks? No one wants that. Leaders of organisations can, and should take effective steps to reduce the prospect of violent climatic change. We at PATA are committed to playing a leadership role in this process."

De Jong was speaking ahead of the association's new event, the PATA CEO Challenge, which will focus exclusively on practical industry initiatives to counter climate change. The event will challenge travel industry leaders to share and adopt 'best practice' solutions to reduce the travel and tourism carbon footprint.

The PATA CEO Challenge, "Confronting Climate Change", will take place April 29-30 in Bangkok.

Visit www.ceochallenge.PATA.org for the full programme.

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