Environmental trends – Will tourism respond to environmental and energy pressures?12th EUROPEAN TOURISM FORUM Tourism – a Force for Economic Growth, Social Change and Welfare 17-18 October 2013 The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Vilnius C. Michael Hall Docent, University of Oulu, Finland; Visiting Professor, Linneaus University, Sweden & University of Eastern Finland; Professor, University of Canterbury, New Zealand email@example.com http://canterbury-nz.academia.edu/CMichaelHall
2 The concept of sustainability in tourism is incredibly successful • Innovation and diffusion of the concept over time - modern origins in late 1980s - From two academic papers in 1989 to >60 in 2009 • A dedicated journal, numerous dedicated texts and courses • Widespread adoption of the term in government at all scales, industry organisations, individual firms and non-government organisation policies and statements • Is has become a part of the lexicon of business and of governments, especially with respect to the policy context within which they operate
3 Yet… tourism is less sustainable than ever • In environmental terms: - More emissions in absolute terms - Greater resource use (energy, land use, water) • Increased contribution to biodiversity loss / species introductions • But then we keep being told… “Travel & Tourism accounts for 255 million jobs globally. At US$6 trillion (9% of GDP) the sector is a key driver for investment and economic growth” (WTTC, 5 June 2013). • The growing contribution of tourism to environmental change while simultaneously being promoted as a means of economic growth suggests that sustainable tourism development is a significant policy problem. Maybe even a policy failure? As presently constituted tourism is not a form of green growth. • “much tourism growth, as with much economic growth in general, is already uneconomic at the present margin as we currently measure it given that it is leading to a clear running down of natural capital”. • Tourism is experiencing an enormous environmental subsidy
A more accurate sustainable tourism model THE ENVIRONMENT / NATURAL CAPITAL
A reallocation of natural capital from nature’s economy to human economy in the process of generating economic growth? (and social change and welfare?) Do efficiency improvements mean that we reduce the level of natural resource consumption and the level of environmental impact? K Natural capital allocated to wildlife / environment GDP Natural capital allocated to human / tourism economy and society. Everything in the previous model of ‘balanced’ sustainable tourism fits in here TIME Source: Adapted from Hall, 2010
Tourism sector emissions and mitigation targets and forecasts •IEA (2009): Air travel almost quadruples between 2005 and 2050 with an average worldwide growth rate of 3.5% per year, but over 4% worldwide until 2025 • IMO (2009): Absolute emissions from shipping will grow by 1.9–2.7% per year up to 2050 • Boeing (2012): Growth in global aircraft fleet from 19 890 in 2011 to 39 780 by 2031; airline traffic in revenue passenger kilometres: 5% per year • Airbus (2012): Growth in revenue passenger kilometres by 150% between 2011 and 2031 (averaging 4.7% per year), with the global fleet of passenger aircraft growing from 15 560 to 32 550 in the same period Source: Gössling et al. 2013
O dear, we forgot something… • Three types of rebound effects are frequently identified in the literature. • the direct rebound effect, which is manifested in increased demand for the same product or service. For example, the switch from a 6-litre to a 3-litre car may result in additional journeys being made in the 3-litre car. • the indirect rebound effect, expressed in increased demand for different products or services. For example, the change from a 6-litre to a 3-litre car may result in consumers taking more holidays by air. • the structural or macroeconomic rebound effect. For example, because more consumers drive 3-litre cars, overall demand for petrol is lower, causing relative prices to fall and creating an incentive for increased demand for energy-using products in other sectors. • The level of a rebound effect is generally defined as the percentage of an efficiency-boosting measure/technology that is offset by a rise in demand • The 50-50 rule of thumb: • ‘in the long term and on average, combined rebound effects of at least 50% must be assumed. In other words, energy efficiency improvements in an economic system will on average yield half the theoretical savings potential of efficiency technologies and measures’ (Santorius 2012).
How large? • Barker et al. (2009) modeled the potential long-run rebound effects resulting from the global energy efficiency measures incorporated into the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report and estimated that • for transport there would be a worldwide direct rebound of 9.1% in 2020 and 9.1% in 2030, and a macroeconomic rebound of 26.9% in 2020 and 43.1% in 2030. The total rebound effect for transport is 36.0% in 2020 and 52.2% in 2030. • Residential/services buildings have an even higher estimated total rebound of 44.3% by 2020 and 60.6% for 2030. The estimated total global rebound effect on the IPCC’s] estimates is 31.5% of the projected energy savings potential by 2020, rising to 51.3% by 2030. • If applied to tourism this means that by 2030 the impacts of energy-efficiencies on emissions reduction will potentially be more than halved and that the reduction in the total potential gains in energy efficiencies over the period to 2035 are cut by more than 35% - leading to a potential doubling of tourism emissions.
The limits of containment • Efficiency standards for appliances or production processes harbour the greatest risk of evoking rebound effects. • Real income gains and falls in market prices that arise from efficiency increases can theoretically be absorbed by ecotaxes. However, this would require a complex taxation scheme with sector- and product-specific tax rates, which would be difficult to implement. • In theory rebound effects cannot arise if resource use is limited by caps (absolute upper limits). However, unless caps are introduced globally, rebound effects can still occur via international trade and increased imports – including tourism.
Efficiency and sufficiency in sustainable tourism development Same or increased personal travel demand. ‘Business as usual’. No fundamental change in destination choice or consumption choices: ‘Green Growth’ / ‘Green Economy’ Continued run down of natural capital if primary policy approach PRODUCER BEHAVIOUR ECO-EFFICIENCY More productive use of materials and energy. PRODUCTION Efficiency SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT / STEADY-STATE TOURISM Restructure, Redistribute EXTERNAL Regulation; Cost of energy; System change; Polluter pays INTERNAL Value change; Ethical & social responsibilities DRIVERS FOR CHANGE Increased product life spans Changed consumer behaviour Restructure socio-technical system Reduction in personal demand and distance travelled; reuse and recycle. Fundamental change in demand to emphasise ‘local’ destinations, short supply chains and reduce resource consumption and distance travelled: ‘Reorientation’ / ’Degrowth’Recessionary if implemented in isolation from other measures. Sufficiency SLOW / SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION Changed consumption patterns leading to reduced throughput of products and services and less energy. CONSUMPTION CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Source: After Hall 2009
The value of utilising all approaches to governance: IATA airline online reporting and offsetting opportunities 2009 vs 2013 *Env. refers to Environmental, Tech. refers to Technology Improvements; Infra. refers to Infrastructure Developments; Oper. refers to Efficient Operations; Econ. refers to Economic Measures. *Book, refers to capacity to offset when booking; FFPs refers to Frequent Flyer Points
Global ecological footprint and conceptualising growth and bio-physical capacities
Can we go beyond the first three letters of the alphabet? • Need to engage in third-order policy learning by which some of the basic paradigms and assumptions are questioned with respect to tourism development. Beyond the dominant paradigm of “ABC”: attitude, behaviour, and choice to actually change systems of provision. • Will tourism respond to environmental and energy pressures?Regulation has a vital role, along with consumer pressure and environmental and resource costs. • In tourism governance far too much attention has been given to the assumption that a well-designed institution is “good” because it facilitates cooperation and networking rather actually focussing on the norms and values of institutional arrangements and their potential outcomes. • What, after all, is the point of encouraging governance mechanisms such as partnerships, network development, self-regulation, codes of conduct and individual responsibility if they continue to have no practical effect on the sustainability of tourism and consumption? • If the ethical value of responsible tourism by “individual choice” leads to increased emissions from lifestyle and travel actions and worsening environmental change then how ethical or responsible is it?