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Do you love traveling? Scientists have a bad news for you

More accurate science brings less pleasant news. The conclusion of a joint study of three universities, published in the Nature Climate Change journal, is roughly the same. She focused on quantifying the carbon footprint of tourism. It turns out to be nearly as big as it once was.

Less than five percent (more precisely: 4.6%). So much has previously been estimated the share of tourism in global carbon emissions. And overall, three quarters of this balance was on air travel to the destination destination. Researchers at Queensland, Sydney and Cheng Kung Nationals now estimate this estimate at 8%. They have calculated the "associated costs" of tourism. Not only transport, but also accommodation, meals and drinks, souvenirs, clothing and cosmetics.

Sunscreen, beach flip-flops and postcards

Holiday trips are globally a billion dollar business. It's not just about the price of airline tickets and hotels. Finally, the unrealized but yet planned holiday runs an avalanche of purchases. Whether it's a new swimsuit or a feather jacket depends on the destination, but practically every tourist wants to get along well. And when they reach the dream destination? Meals close to his requirements are not only produced here, and fewer or more kitsch souvenirs also have to be produced.

This is why tourism is rightly considered to be the fastest growing sector of international trade. Speaking of numbers: on average, we all are a little better, and as the middle class grows globally, more and more people can take a vacation. And on the carbon footprint it's about to know. Researchers say that combined global carbon dioxide emissions increased by 15% between 2009 and 2013, to an unprecedented 4.5 gigatons. And if the trend remains, it will be 6.5 gigatons in 2025.

Riddle: Who can do it?

Numbers draw on international trade databases of 160 countries and analyze over one billion transactions in the sale of goods and services. Which is really a good dataset. They have taken into account not only holidays cross-border but also domestic tourism. So your trip to Mníšek pod Brdy counts. By doing so, they have, of course, taken on a problem that has led them to interesting consideration. Is the carbon balance of tourism a problem for those who travel or those who take tourists? Who should take their share of responsibility?

The largest "exporter of tourists to the world" is the United States, which at the same time has a significant share of national migration. Major travelers include countries like Germany, China or India, a country that is more populous and with a solid economy; while, on the contrary, tourists' biggest recipients are often underprivileged, smaller in size, and with the economy rather scandalous. Typically, exotic islands such as Mauritius or Maldives. Income from tourism here accounts for up to 50% of the domestic budget, and a complex tourist background accounts for 30-80% of national emissions. For the Maldives, even 95%.

Do not go for a vacation is not a solution. Or yes?

The solution of "responsibility" has some controversy. Should Germans or Americans stop traveling on holiday to reduce global emissions? And what about the countries that set up their economy in tourism? Should we stop them from attending to improve the emission? Stopping here would mean bringing them to bankruptcy, and the environment would probably not help. Commissions on tourism, on the contrary, help to introduce low-carbon and renewable energy sources. Or would the countries whose citizens often travel on holiday should give a helping hand to their favorite destinations?

Author: Radomír Dohnal, Associate Ekolist

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