What does the IPCC report mean for travel ?
© Good Travel Guide, August 2021
Have you followed the news this past month? Then you should have encountered more than once coverage about a certain report on the climate emergency written by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). But are you really aware of what it implies? Here are some of the highlights and what it means for tourism and travel.
The IPCC, which is the “United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change”, released on August 9th 2021, one of its “sixth assessment report” (AR6) on The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change. The report was particularly alarming as it underlines the irreversible impacts of humans on global warming, the growing greenhouse gas emissions, and the implications for the future. It warns about the immediate, and drastic cuts on emissions required to keep global warming below the 1.5°C goal set by the Paris agreement in 2015. To attain this objective, emissions would have to be cut by 50% by 2030 and reduced to zero by 2050. It also warns on the forecasted multiplication of extreme weather events such as floods, wildfires, or droughts in the coming years.
Climate emergency crisis has and will have a strong impact on travel as well. The irreversible and unstoppable rise of sea level is going to make destinations such as the Maldives or some coastal destinations disappear from the map. Governments are also expected to take actions to limit emissions so air travel prices are forecasted to rise and rail transportation should develop as a low-emission alternative.
What can we do about it?
The IPCC report particularly demands drastic and efficient actions from governments, but individuals and travellers too have the power to make a difference and must act. Ideally it is a joint action from individuals, companies and governments that will be more efficient but we have seen in the past that individual actions can have a great impact on companies and governments behaviours at a larger scale. If we have managed to damage the earth, we should manage to help it recover. Here are some tips on what you can do to limit your impact :
Reduce car use, especially if you travel alone and avoid to take the plane as much as possible. You can experience travelling with lower emission transportation such as train, shared electric car or bike. You can learn more on travel emissions and carbon offsetting while travelling on our blog article
Choose your accommodation carefully and support small businesses that make an effort to limit their footprint by using renewable energy for example. You can also try experiences such as sleeping in an eco-cottage or glamping. You can have a look at our blog article to learn how to find a sustainable accommodation.
Choose your food carefully to support businesses that try to limit their wastes and that use local products avoiding long transportation of imported products.
The choice of the destination is also essential. You can for example go to bike friendly or lesser-known destinations to limit your impact.
Regardless of the destination, always act in a respectful way towards nature and the locals.
Keeping these 5 points in mind will make your trip more enjoyable while reducing your negative impact to the minimum.