Protecting tropical forests to address the climate crisis

Over the years, we’ve seen the devastating impacts of natural disasters on the global Airbnb Host community and the places they call home. 2020 tied 2016 for the warmest year on record and across the globe we experienced an extraordinary number of devastating climate-related events; from the bushfires in Australia and wildfires on the west coast of the United States, to extreme flooding in China and a record-breaking 30 named storms in the Atlantic Ocean. The evidence is clear. We are in a climate crisis. 

We believe that everyone has a responsibility to act to help achieve a stable climate. We have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy to power our global operations. Home sharing through Airbnb also promotes sustainable travel: Airbnb Hosts use existing infrastructure – their homes – to welcome guests, and 82 percent of Hosts said they used one or more green practices in their hosting.* Sustainability is also important to guests. More than 80 percent of US consumers believe Airbnb helps people travel in a more environmentally sustainable way.** 

Of course, the work we have done to date is just a start. We are working with our Host community and experts at Environmental Defense Fund to develop a comprehensive science-based plan that is in line with goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, and that also promotes sustainable travel. 

Additionally, today we are proud to announce we are participating in the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition, a new public-private initiative that is seeking to raise $1 billion to fight tropical deforestation. Tropical rainforests hold 250 billion tons of carbon, a third of the world’s remaining 1.5C carbon budget, according to LEAF. The destruction of tropical forests increased by 12 percent in 2020. Saving them is vital in the efforts to tackle climate change.

Today’s announcement is just one in a series of steps we are taking and we are deeply committed to doing our part to address the climate crisis. We look forward to sharing more about our sustainability goals and how we plan to achieve them in the coming months.

* Based on a 2019 Airbnb survey. Green practices include using bulk toiletries, promoting recycling, or encouraging guests’ use of public transportation.

** Survey conducted for Airbnb by ClearPath Strategies, Sept. 15-19, 2020, 1,010 US adults, MoE +/-3.1%