Fiji and Low Carbon Travel

By | Category: Travel rumblings

We hear a lot about the effects of travel on the amount of carbon emissions created. Being sceptical along the lines of Tom Fuller who writes a really interesting environmental column in the Los Angeles Examiner (freely available via the net), I am not an ardent proponent but neither do I believe that life stays the same.  There is another climate change meeting coming up in Copenhagen shortly and Fiji has rather stolen some of the thunder by declaring that, as an entire nation, they will become a low carbon destination. 

 They have started with trying to get an agreement with everyoneone, hoteliers, airlines, attractions, business etc and they plan a pilot project covering renewable energy and it’s efficient use. That is still 15 months away but it does sound like Fiji is trying to do something instead of wringing its hands and blaming others.

This didn’t get a lot of publicity unlike the underwater cabinet meeting that was held by the Maldives government a few weeks back.   But will it help?  25% of Fiji’s GDP is due to tourism. Last May a report from the World Economic Forum said that countries that offer and implement sustainability will be more likely to attract tourists who are growing more environmentally aware.

But in the UK we have just seen summer holiday figures suggesting European visits declined and long haul grew. Long haul means a bigger carbon footprint. (Even more so when a recent A380 flew from Singapore to London virtually three quarters empty)   Will the environmentally conscious travel all the way to Fiji because of what Fijians plan or will they turn away saying their own personal carbon footfall will make such a trip alienable to their beliefs? And probably, the rest will be dictated to by what has generally always been the case, a desire to go and the price.

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