Study on the Methods and Potential of Carbon Emission Reduction in China’s Tourism Industry

2011-07-08 15:46:30       Size:[L  M  S]

It has become a global political consensus to maintain the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere at an appropriate level within certain period. With the increasing clamor for carbon emissions reduction, China, as a developing country, is facing a severe situation of carbon emissions reduction. In view of the total volume, CO2 emission volume in China ranks second in the world behind the United States. It has become an important and urgent task for current economic and social development in China to implement the Energy conservation and emissions reduction and handle the climate change, and China has attached great importance on it. Before the United Nations Climate Conference was held in Copenhagen, Executive Meeting of State Council decided that China’s CO2 emissions per unit GDP in 2020 shall be decreased by 40% to 45% compared with that in 2005. The control objective of total carbon emission volume is established to require all industries to develop practical measures and strengthen the energy conservation and emission reduction in accordance with their current situation and potentials of CO2 emissions.

World Tourism Organization, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization reported in 2007 that the tourism was one of the greenhouse gas sources, the total greenhouse gas emission of the industry accounts for 4% to 6% of the global volume; the greenhouse gas emissions of tourism may be increased by 1.5 times in next 30 years if no effective measures were taken. China’s tourism industry has played an important role in the global tourism economy; the World Tourism Organization predicts that China will become the world’s largest tourist reception country, the fourth largest tourist source country and the world’s largest domestic tourism market in the future. Therefore, it has become very practical and significant to study the current situation of CO2 emissions and develop effective ways for emissions reduction.

The tourism industry has a complex system and flexible tourism ways, likewise, there are diversified ways for CO2 emissions, therefore it is a worldwide problem to determine the CO2 emission methods and calculate the total emission volume. So far, the means, current situation and potential of CO2 emission by tourism of China are still unknown. Therefore, this research project may provide a scientific decision-making basis for how China’s tourism industry should handle the climate change, energy conservation and emission reduction, helping China's tourism industry catch up with the current World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) framework to combat climate change.

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