Copenhagen and Beyond. Tourism and global climate justice
Tourism and, in particular, the impact of international air transportation, has been one of the great “oversights” of the Kyoto Protocol (1997-2012) on climate protection. This neglect has been a catalyst for the overall increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs). If it is not explicitly included in the new agreement that ought to be replacing the current one, the unremitting tourism boom threatens in the medium term to wipe out vital advances made in other areas. The United Nations Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen (7-18 December 2009) must guarantee a real reduction in emissions related to international tourism, one of the world’s prime industrial economies, to keep corporate volunteerism and the recourse to externalizing costs, through a “carbon market” supported by new forms of intensive exploitation of the impoverished global South, from making the absolute balance increasingly negative for the global climate. The principal tools needed from Copenhagen are the setting of concrete, relevant and regulatory GHG reduction targets for the international tourism industry; the right to accurate environmental information on its major contribution to the anthropogenic greenhouse effect; implementation of environmental taxation of aviation and tourism (including cruise ships); and the transfer of resources and a rebalancing of global climate security priorities to favor the South.
Collection Opinions in Development | Responsible Tourism Programme | Article No. 4 | July 2009.