Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 15 February 2024

Your Carbon Footprint Will Set Your Carbon Passport

The summer of 2023 has been 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 analysed 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 centres on each traveller 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 in the House of Commons in 2008, before being shut down due to its perceived complexity and the possibility of public resistance.

The average annual carbon footprint for a person in the US is 16 tonnes – one of the highest rates in the world. In the UK this figure sits at 11.7 tonnes, still more than five times the figure recommended by the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.

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

Intrepid Travel’s report predicts that we will see carbon passports in action by 2040. However, several laws and restrictions have been put in place over the past year that suggest our travel habits may already be on the verge of change.

Read More: Who is Behind the Push for Carbon Passports

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