Mitigation: potential for emission reduction through behavioral change
BURNS, PETER and Bibbings, L.J. (2007) Mitigation: potential for emission reduction through behavioral change In: E-CLAT technical seminar: policy dialogue on tourism transport and climate change: stakeholders meet researchers, UNESCO Paris, France, 15 March 2007.
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Official URL: http://www.icis.unimaas.nl/eclat/Paris/papers/burn...
The scientific evidence supporting the anthropomorphic basis for climate change is beyond reasonable doubt. Within this complex scenario, tourism (which includes air travel, leisure mobility, and for a small elite, hypermobility) is a significant contributor of emissions leading to climate change. While technology will, at some stage in the future, provide solutions to the problems caused by high carbon emissions the environmental problem is of such a scale that social norms, habits practices and assumptions about travel (especially leisure mobility) in its contemporary, ubiquitous form have to be challenged and changed if catastrophic consequences are to be avoided. Starting with a set of working assumptions that provide a basis for this conceptual paper, we explore some of the socio-cultural aspects of tourism demand that will need to change as part of a societal contribution to mitigation that will support legislative, regulatory and technological change. The paper sets out a number of contradictions for tourism and mobility that can not only be used to highlight the complexities of dealing with climate change issues in an industry characterised by long, fragmented supply chains but also as a starting point in the search for solutions. The paper’s main findings are a clear set of research questions and related issues arising from the general idea that sustainable tourism is possible and desirable but that mitigation actions have to be socio-cultural in nature (i.e. changing norms for society and the emergence of a low-carbon economy) framed by transparent and fair regulations and policies that can incentivise citizens and businesses into stewardship through sustainable practices.
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