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Tourism responsible for 8 percent of greenhouse gases

Posted by edmundironside on May 9, 2018

Foreword: We import food from New Zealand … even though it makes no sense from a planetary standpoint. —Physicist James E. Hansen

Sent by a reader in Sydney

Tourism is responsible for a twelfth of world greenhouse gas emissions

Emissions from tourism were found to be highest in the United States, China, Germany and India, according to a review of 160 nations led by the University of Sydney researchers and published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Flights, hotels, food and production of souvenirs, accounted for emission of the equivalent of 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013, the latest data available [tourism has been growing at an annual rate of about 4 percent since. Editor] or 8 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases, up from 3.9 billion in 2009, according to the report.

The carbon footprint of global tourism

By Manfred Lenzen, et al.  Published by Nature Climate Change (2018) doi:10.1038/s41558-018-0141-x

Abstract

Tourism contributes significantly to global gross domestic product, and is forecast to grow at an annual 4%, thus outpacing many other economic sectors. However, global carbon emissions related to tourism are currently not well quantified. Here, we quantify tourism-related global carbon flows between 160 countries, and their carbon footprints under origin and destination accounting perspectives. We find that, between 2009 and 2013, tourism’s global carbon footprint has increased from 3.9 to 4.5 GtCO2e, four times more than previously estimated, accounting for about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport, shopping and food are significant contributors. The majority of this footprint is exerted by and in high-income countries. The rapid increase in tourism demand is effectively outstripping the decarbonization of tourism-related technology. We project that, due to its high carbon intensity and continuing growth, tourism will constitute a growing part of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

If you are flying to New Zealand

“If you are one of the 2.6 million tourists who fly to New Zealand each year to hike the deadly mountain paths, swim the toxic lakes, or watch whales and dolphins death throes, you are committing a double act of eco-terrorism:

  1. You contribute to burning an estimated 3.2 billion gallons of fuel flying in and out of New Zealand. [Each liter of fuel produces about 2.4 kg of CO2 or 8.8 kg/U.S. gallon ~ 19.4 pounds/U.S. gallon.]
  2. You destroy the marine ecosystems and harm the creatures you come in contact with.”

 

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