Tourism industry fears a lower carbon future

8.8.2010 (Travel Mole)

by Valere Tjolle

Valere Tjolle is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite 

(article addressed to the tourism industry)


The big bad green tax is coming to your business shortly

In the very near future all of us in tourism will wake up to a day where we are
facing enormous green taxes that we can do nothing about

Don’t believe it? Look at our recent stories from around the world…

Just this week, China has indicated that it will launch an environmental tax
trial, the Philippines government has urged industry to prepare for green taxes,
Joseph Stiglitz has said that carbon taxing is a government’s first priority and
much more.   See


You don’t think it will happen?

Let’s get our facts in a line:

•The world’s governments have now more or less committed to REDUCTIONS in carbon
emissions on 1990 figures

•Even if they haven’t completely committed it is absolutely bound to happen because
the risks are too great if we don’t.

•Whatever the nerds think (have you noticed the schemes we’ve reported -) we
ain’t going to get there with technology alone, except, maybe with virtual tourism.

•So we are going to have to reduce the amounts of carbon (carbon, by the way
is a coverall term for carbon and other greenhouse gases) we emit

How will this be globally implemented?

Could there be voluntary reductions (pause for snigger)

Could the world’s governments agree on a fundamental and equitable resolution?
Whether it’s equitable is up for debate, but the fact is that an agreement is bound to happen unless our current politicians
simply avoid their responsibilities.

The question is how will the governments make sure that their obligations are
fulfilled. As always, the solution will be a combination of stick and carrot.

The carrot will be some form of carbon trading, cap and trade or whatever. This
will place a market value on carbon and the clever will make money out of the
carbon market, the less clever will not.

And the stick will be?     Heavy taxation.   Simple as that.

Individual governments will propose individual taxes, but the results will be
the same – heavy taxes on heavy emitters.

So, the tourism race is on for carbon neutral destinations, green hotels, cleaner
methods of transportation – that’s called ‘Mitigation’.     And different destinations,
changed seasons, alternative markets, different forms of holiday activities –
that’s called ‘Adaptation’.

But make no mistake, not only is tourism seen as being a major emission culprit,
but also tourism is seen as being an ultimately unnecessary luxury.

The best that the industry can hope for is a better green/socially responsible
PR job and the opportunity to pass on green taxes without the extra cost upsetting
the market completely.


link to article