A recent study places India in the fourth position for the largest producers of carbon- footprint from tourism, all over the world. The study by Arunima Malik and Ya-Yen Sun estimates that tourism and its co-related industries emit four times more carbon in the atmosphere than was earlier believed. The study comprehensively analyzes and quantifies the world tourism footprint across the food chain, ranging from flights, accommodation, food and souveniers, accounting for eight percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions. The report that quantifies and calculates tourism related global carbon flows in 160 nations from 2009 to 2013, notes that India, being a ‘net destination’ accounts for more international arrivals in India rather than Indians travelling abroad, with a majority of carbon footprint caused by domestic travel, be that business or leisure. Conservationists and tourism experts concur that the travel and tourism industry heads need to engage in climate discussions to reduce carbon emissions, making decisions on the sustainability of resources, while investing in energy efficient buildings and low carbon transport, among other choices. The Global Sustainable Tourism Dashboard notes an increase in India’s carbon emissions from aviation and points out eight World Heritage Areas of which only two have tourism management plans – the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area and the Khangchendzonga National Park. The study suggests carbon taxing and carbon-trading schemes as well as making eco-labelling of airlines mandatory, as some of the ways to reduce carbon footprint by tourism.
–As reported by Mongabay