CNN seem to believe it’s a good idea to limit people’s travel and have even suggested the idea of enforcing ‘carbon passports’.
And it’s all in the name of fighting the climate change….of course!
CNN reports: It’s time to limit how often we can travel abroad – ‘carbon passports’ may be the answer
The summer of 2023 was very significant for the travel industry. By the end of July, international tourist arrivals globally reached 84% of pre-pandemic levels. In some European countries, such as France, Denmark and Ireland, tourism demand even surpassed its pre-pandemic level.
This may be great news economically, but there’s concern that a return to the status quo is already showing dire environmental and social consequences.
The summer saw record-breaking heatwaves across many parts of the world. People were forced to flee wildfires in Greece and Hawaii, and extreme weather warnings were issued in many popular holiday destinations like Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Experts attributed these extreme conditions to climate change.
Tourism is part of the problem. 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.
This concept may seem extreme. But the idea of personal carbon allowances is not new. A similar concept (called “personal carbon trading”) was discussed by UK Parliament in 2008, before being shut down because of to its perceived complexity and the possibility of public resistance.