Measuring National Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Tourism as a Key Step Towards Achieving Sustainable Tourism
Most tourism-related activities require energy directly in the form of fossil fuels or indirectly in the form of electricity often generated from petroleum, coal or gas. This consumption leads to the emission of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide. Tourism is not a traditional sector in the System of National Accounts and as a result no country possesses comprehensive national statistics on the energy demand or emissions specifically resulting from tourism. This paper suggests two approaches for accounting for carbon dioxide emissions from tourism: a bottom-up analysis involving industry and tourist analyses, and a top-down analysis using environmental accounting. Using the case study of New Zealand, we demonstrate that both approaches result in similar estimates of the degree to which tourism contributes to national carbon dioxide emissions. The bottom-up analysis provides detailed information on energy end-uses and the main drivers of carbon dioxide emissions. These results can be used for the development of targeted industry-based greenhouse gas reduction strategies. The top-down analysis allows assessment of tourism as a sector within the wider economy, for example with the purpose of comparing tourism's eco-efficiency with other sectors, or the impact of macroeconomic instruments such as carbon charges.
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Tourism not elsewhere classified