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TTC Bulletin: Climate change is a tourism enemy and vice versa

Climate change is a tourism enemy and vice versa

Photo: Jakkapan Jabjainai/123RF

By Frank Martin

TTC Service.- A large part of people residing in the Caribbean are employees of the tourism industry and believe that damage of climate change is a long term problem.

But according to studies, they could lose their jobs as an early consequence of this worldwide phenomenon.

An analysis of Forbes magazine estimated that 2.4 million people in the Caribbean region earn income from tourism and contribute in turn with more than 62 billion dollars, 15.5% of the Gross National Product.

These statistics can be interpreted as “good” and away from unemployment.

But climate change experts see in figures a large dependence on workers in the leisure industry.

This turns on a red light on the global warming board.

The Caribbean tourist branch can suffer damage and, in turn, damage nature with harmful emissions.

On the planet, the leisure industry is responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, some 4.5 billion tons of CO2 per year.

It is true that local studies in the Caribbean indicate that total emissions in the small islands of the Caribbean area, such as Dominica and Saint Lucia, are barely noticeable compared to those of large nations.

But the Caribbean especially offers diving lessons, jet ski rides and more and more numerous air and sea trips.

Many activities that seem innocent are not “clean” climatic.

It has been shown that those mentioned produce around 24 kg of CO2 per tourist.

Each year, golf courses use as much water as 60,000 rural residents and 1,500 kg of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides for the care of green parks.

Scientists and economists suggest that if no action is taken, tourism may have a higher cost to the environment than other sectors.

Nature Climate Change magazine published in 2018 that a dollar of consumption related to air and sea travel produces a carbon footprint of 1 kg of CO2 that is 25% higher than the global average emissions produced per dollar spent in all sectors .

If this formula were applied to the Caribbean, it would mean that, in 2018, regional tourism contributed 62 billion kg of CO2e to global emissions.

These analyzes add that aviation and the cruise industry contribute 3-5% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

Long-distance flights produce 16% of all tourism-related CO2 emissions.

Forbes said that a round trip flight from New York to Barbados produces 505 kg of CO2 per passenger, while a round trip from London Gatwick to Kingston Jamaica produces 985.8 kg of CO2 per passenger, the equivalent of burning 1077 pounds of coal.

Hotels are also blamed for contaminating rising global carbon emissions.

However, nobody advocates the purposes of world tourism.

Climate lovers ask for new technologies to reduce emissions not only in the leisure industry but throughout the planet Earth.

In fact, the international hotel sector is committed to reducing absolute carbon emissions by 90% by 2050.

That way, dangerous global warming would remain below the 2 degree threshold agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement.

And tourist vacations could be enjoyed for many more centuries.