Environmental and Social Consequences of Tourism


The tourism sector generates around one-tenth of the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate crisis.

The negative impacts of tourism on the environment have become so severe that some are suggesting drastic changes to our travel habits are inevitable. In a report from 2023 that analyzed the future of sustainable travel, tour operator Intrepid Travel proposed that “carbon passports” will soon become a reality if the tourism industry hopes to survive.

## What is a carbon passport?

The idea of a carbon passport centers on each traveler being assigned a yearly carbon allowance that they cannot exceed. These allowances can then “ration” travel.

Globally, the average annual carbon footprint of a person is closer to 4 tons. But, to have the best chance of preventing temperature rise from overshooting 2 Celsius, the average global carbon footprint needs to drop to under two tons by 2050. This figure equates to around two roundtrip flights between London and New York.

Intrepid Travel’s report predicts that we will see carbon passports in action by 2040.

Save the world. Stay at home! LOL