A large part of tourism’s carbon emissions is caused by air travel, but this study also looked at food consumption and the purchase of souvenirs.

Carbon emissions from tourism growing rapidly

A new study suggests that tourism is growing rapidly and is already responsible for about eight per cent of greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. A large part of the emissions comes from flights, but this accounting also includes consumables such as food and souvenirs.

Travellers from the United States are responsible for the majority of tourism-generated emissions, but there are increasing numbers of tourists coming from countries like China and India.

More travellers from China, India

The study looked at travel between 160 countries between 2009 and 2013. It found that the majority of the carbon footprint is exerted by high-income countries and the United States is responsible for the majority of tourism-generated emissions overall. It is however joined by growing middle-classes in China and India.

Small islands attract a disproportionate share of carbon emissions and are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Several are also dependent on tourism which can make up a large proportion of their GDP.

Many islands depend on tourist revenues but at the same time are most vulnerable to climate change.

Tourism growing faster than trade

Tourism’s global footprint is forecast to grow at an annual four per cent and will outpace many other economic sectors, say the authors. They note that in spite of that, emissions related to tourism are not well quantified and were not taken into account in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

Travel will have to become more sustainable, says Prof. Sonya Graci.


‘Travel is going to change’

“I think that more businesses and…now that governments are realizing that travel is not benign…that travel is going to change,” says Sonya Graci, associate professor of tourism at Ryerson University in Toronto.

“I believe that companies are going to have more pressure to become sustainable, to reduce their climate emissions. Destinations themselves are going to start implementing regulation and legislation. Right now for example, Majorca and Spain have implemented a five-dollar tax for cruise ship passengers and that goes toward environmental initiatives within their own destination.”

Several hotels are already taking steps to reduce consumption of water and energy and to reduce waste.

Companies already reducing carbon footprint

Graci says that several hotel chains have instituted measures to save energy, water and waste and that airlines like air France and KLM have made efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.

Companies and governments have a responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint says Graci, but so do travellers. “As consumers, we need to vote with our dollars. We need to really look at what our own particular choices are and how that will impact climate change.”

Travellers should ‘shop around,’ suggests professor

Graci suggests people who travel shop around for businesses that make efforts to reduce their carbon emissions, that they choose to eat local foods rather than those that are imported and, if they go a great distance, that they stay for a longer period of time.

Categories: Economy, Environment, International
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *