Nearly a tenth of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the world’s flourishing tourism industry, but what can you do to cut your carbon footprint when you travel?
A new study – the first of its type to attempt to quantify the impact of tourism on the environment – reveals that emissions were four times higher than predicted.
It means that tourism accounts for 8% of all emissions, with the researchers including all operations as part of their study – from transport and events to hotels, food and shopping.
Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study focused on more than 160 countries between 2009 and 2013, while suggesting that the impacts are likely to have increased since.
Rising demand for luxury travel and greater reliance on air transport are among the leading factors for the upsurge in emissions.
Lead author Dr Arunima Malik, from the University of Sydney, described the results as “eye opening” but what can everyday travellers do to feel that they’re doing their bit to tackle the issue?
How can you reduce your own holiday emissions?
One option, if you’re travelling a bit closer to home, is to consider the train. Europe has an exceptional network that is often both timely and reliable.
Of course airlines can’t be avoided for long-haul trips but might still be able to keep your own carbon footprint down – many airlines use fuel-efficient aircraft and biofuels, so it might be worth checking their environmental policies before you jet off.
Another option is to take advantage of public transport, especially if you’re visiting major cities and intend to do a lot of your exploring in a relatively small area.
If you do need to a hire a vehicle, you could opt for a more environmentally friendly model or one that has the best fuel economy.
While these actions may appear minimal, tackling rising emissions does need to start somewhere.
Should you hire a vehicle while on your travels, you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to protect the excess you would need to pay out should your car be damaged or stolen.
The additional cover often costs less than you might think to, meaning you could have even greater peace of mind as you venture out and explore.
Date Created: 14/05/2018