Barcelona Zero Emissions Destination

eco-union is a non-profit organization based in Barcelona that aims to promote the climate transition towards sustainability in Europe and the Mediterranean region.

An initiative of eco-union

Overview of the project

Tourism is an activity with a major economic and environmental impact on the city of Barcelona. In 2019, almost 14 million tourists spent at least one night in the city, 81% of whom arrived by plane, generating 9.1 million tonnes of CO2.

In addition, climate change is expected to have a negative impact on Barcelona in terms of temperature increase, coastal erosion and pressure on water resources. This will jeopardise tourism resources.

Mobility operations to and from Barcelona are the main CO2 emitters, so if we want to achieve the emission reduction targets set by local, national and European administrations, immediate and far-reaching actions must be taken to significantly reduce emissions from tourist mobility. It is therefore essential to promote modal shift to rail.

Barcelona’s attractiveness as a tourist destination could suffer if we do not curb emissions. This is why we propose the creation of a “Barcelona Destination Zero” brand, as a distinctive element of a city with a clear commitment to reducing emissions.

It is essential to include the decarbonisation of tourist mobility at the heart of the political, economic and climate agenda and to ensure a coherent alignment of policies for a more sustainable development of the city.


The “Barcelona Zero Emissions Destination” project aims, through research, advocacy and promotion of low-carbon tourist mobility, to boost and promote sustainable mobility in tourist travel to and from Barcelona.

Level of progress

Published research

Project timeline

07/01/2022 - 06/30/2023

Quantitative results

– Publication of a report on the state of tourist activity in Barcelona, the resulting emissions and modal change scenarios (from aviation/car to the train) to decarbonize tourist mobility.
– Development of infographics and an executive summary of the report to facilitate the dissemination of the information collected, the conclusions drawn and the proposed recommendations.
– 1 on-site event where the project and report were presented.
– 3 participatory webinars, focused on different sectors (tourism, citizenship and administration), during which specific parts of the report were worked on with the different entities involved in each case.
– Individual meetings with entities from the mobility/tourism sectors and specialist journalists to expand and complement the information on the study.

Qualitative results

– Increased awareness on the environmental impact of tourist mobility and the proposed solutions;
– Engagement and involvement of key stakeholders/actors;
– Media coverage: there has been a positive coverage by specialist journalists and media outlets:
– Collaboration and synergy achieved with various entities involved in tourism, administration, and the community.


This project has been funded by the Barcelona City Council’s Climate Plan.

About the


Jérémie Fosse

eco-union is a non-profit organization based in Barcelona that aims to promote the climate transition towards sustainability in Europe and the Mediterranean region. We work with governments, companies and international institutions to develop and implement public policies and accelerate the energy transition, sustainable mobility, green and blue economy, among other sustainable development issues.

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A project
in collaboration
  • Associació per a la Promoció del Transport Públic (PTP)


  • Fundació Mobilitat Sostenible i Segura (FMSS)