Impact of Climate Change on Tourism in Canada


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  • examined 4 major types of impacts that destinations may have to contend with
  • By focusing on the direct effects of climate change and ignoring the indirect effects, the tourism sector could fail to respond the biggest challenge to its future existence – a challenge that has been hastened and exacerbated by tourism’s global success; a challenge that lies embedded – like a silent time bomb – in a host of indirect effects that could undermine, jeopardize or, possibly, evaporate demand for international travel. The five major sources of “indirect effects” are: oil prices, economic vitality, security, disease, consumer/voter response to climatic events and effects, and government response to all of the above. They are each affected by climate change to varying degrees. The problem is that all these factors are inextricably inter-woven in a myriad of ways that few appreciate. They form a complex system that is in a constant state of flux adapting to internal events and external stimuli and no one fully understands the nature of the inter-dependencies. Despite its apparent resiliency – and the tourism industry loves to boast how resilient it is – tourism is built on a foundation that is could possibly be as unsinkable as the Titanic and as impregnable as the World Trade Centre. What happens to public spending on tourism when too many major powers start to take an unhealthy interest in Canada’s Arctic and our government has to reallocate public funds to security and defence issues? What happens when drought in China and India literally sucks money out of the economy to prevent dissent and revolution from the vast army of rural poor? Will the wealthy Chinese always be able to travel abroad? Will thr Indian middle classes feel safe leaving their homes behind and unprotected? What happens as habitats morph and new species move north – might we be vulnerable to new contagious diseases? There cannot be a person in this room who cannot remember the impact of SARS on our industry. What happens as increasing numbers of violent climatic events occur and voters put serious pressure on industry and politicians to “do something”. 5% of travellers in Europe are reducing their long-haul travel. This number could grow. Does it need to?
  • Impact of Climate Change on Tourism in Canada

    1. 1. Impact of Climate Change on Tourism in Canada Responsible Travel and Tourism Toronto, November 22 nd .
    2. 2. Who is Icarus?
    3. 3. And the Foundation? <ul><li>MISSION </li></ul><ul><li>“ to be the catalyst that helps Canada become a climate friendly tourism destination” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    4. 4. De-Mystifying the Science <ul><li>What’s a GHG? </li></ul><ul><li>How much are we emitting </li></ul><ul><li>How much has the earth Warmed? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the prognosis? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we have to do to stop it getting warmer? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Not all Greenhouse Gases are equal CO 2 CO 2 e
    6. 6. What’s the Problem? <ul><li>Human activity EMITS about 7 billion tonnes into the atmosphere each year </li></ul><ul><li>Earth (oceans, forests, vegetation) can absorb only so much </li></ul><ul><li>The balance accumulates </li></ul><ul><li>49 gigatonnes in 2004 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Some Basic Facts
    8. 8. Some Basic Facts
    9. 9. Past Increases
    10. 10. Possible Futures
    11. 11. The First Number to Remember + 2°C
    12. 12. What’s The Deal with + 2°C? <ul><li>ECOSYSTEMS </li></ul><ul><li>95% of all coral reefs will die </li></ul><ul><li>Mediterranean, Baltic and Us wetlands would suffer. </li></ul><ul><li>The Amazon rainforest would suffer irreversible decline; </li></ul><ul><li>China’s boreal forests, Canada’s low arctic tundra and the Russian Coastal tundra would face 70-80% losses. </li></ul>
    13. 13. What’s The Deal with + 2°C? <ul><li>ECOSYSTEMS </li></ul><ul><li>20-30% of all plant and animal species risk extinction if global average temperature exceeds 1.5-2.5 degrees centigrade. </li></ul><ul><li>In BC, these plus 22 other mammals and 540 other species are at significant risk of extinction. </li></ul>
    14. 14. What’s The Deal with + 2 °C? <ul><li>PEOPLE </li></ul><ul><li>melting of glaciers could negatively impact some 500 million people in South Asia, 250 million people in China and between 75-250 million affected in Africa </li></ul>
    15. 15. What’s The Deal with + 2 °C? <ul><li>PEOPLE </li></ul><ul><li>It won’t just be the poor who are affected </li></ul><ul><li>The 350,000 people affected in the West Midlands will be postponing their vacation plans </li></ul>
    16. 16. What’s The Deal with + 2 °C? <ul><li>ECONOMICS </li></ul><ul><li>Left unchecked could result in a 20% drop in GDP per capita </li></ul>“ Climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen” Sir Nicolas Stern
    17. 17. The Potential For Phase Change <ul><li>“ The climate system can jump rapidly from stable operating mode to another just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips on a light” </li></ul><ul><li>US National Academy of Sciences </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Potential For Phase Change <ul><li>“ The climate system can jump rapidly from stable operating mode to another just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips on a light” </li></ul><ul><li>US National Academy of Sciences </li></ul>
    19. 19. It Pays to Be Humble and Cautious <ul><li>Positive feedback loops </li></ul><ul><li>Albedo effect </li></ul><ul><li>Arctic ice </li></ul><ul><li>Shrinking sinks </li></ul><ul><li>Permafrost – release of methane </li></ul><ul><li>De-salinisation </li></ul>
    20. 21. Why Are the Generals Worried? Climate change has the potential to result in multiple chronic conditions, occurring globally within the same time frame. Economic and environmental conditions in already fragile areas will further erode as food production declines, diseases increase, clean water becomes increasingly scarce, and large populations move in search of resources. Weakened and failing governments, with an already thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies
    21. 22. <ul><li>38 major insurance companies </li></ul>- Carbon Disclosure Project 2007 What are Investors /Insurers Thinking? 315 institutional investors representing $41 trillion in investment “ Climate change creates significant costs for the financial industry. In the interests of our clients and our shareholders, we are obligated to take these risks into account when making decisions on insurance underwriting, investments or lending credit” CEO of Allianz Global Investors
    22. 23. How do we prevent exceeding 2°C? <ul><li>Act NOW </li></ul><ul><li>Even we completely stopped all GHG production, the earth will warm by 1.4°C </li></ul><ul><li>But we’re not stopping; we’re charging full steam ahead generating more GHG each year </li></ul><ul><li>ICPCC & EU – stabilize at 475ppm and reduce emissions by 50%-80% over 2000 levels , every year </li></ul><ul><li>That isn’t business as usual! </li></ul><ul><li>That’s an annual drop of 22-32 GIGA Metric Tons a year </li></ul>
    23. 24. Why is This so Difficult & Scary? <ul><li>A Planetary Threat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affects everybody, everywhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divides north south; rich & poor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ taking care of my own” leads to more conflict in a very unstable world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack effective governance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need vision and will. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break down the artificial boundaries between sectors, countries……. </li></ul></ul>
    24. 25. Why is This so Difficult & Scary? <ul><li>Fear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We think we have to “give something up” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What we take for granted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What we hold dear </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What we’ve worked so hard to achieve </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What we aspire to doing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As opposed to creating something better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weight Loss or “Extreme Makeover” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No silver bullet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drastically cut use of fossil fuels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive Visions Needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change the nature of the experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work collaboratively with each other & new partners </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. Reality – The Writing in the Sky <ul><li>Climate Change is the lens through which we can focus on sustainability. </li></ul><ul><li>The problem can be measured </li></ul><ul><li>Requires much more than hot air </li></ul>
    26. 27. <ul><li>Direct climatic impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warmer Summers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warmer Winters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Precipitation Changes (water supply) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased Extreme Events </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Indirect environmental change impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biodiversity Loss (terrestrial and marine) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sea Level Rise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disease </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact of mitigation policy on tourist mobility </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Travel Costs and Destination Choice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Indirect societal change impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global/Regional Economic Impacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increased Security Risks (social/governance disruption) </li></ul></ul></ul>Impacts on Tourism
    27. 28. The Second Thing to Remember <ul><li>RESILIENCE </li></ul>
    28. 29. Indirect Effects
    29. 30. Is Tourism the new Titanic?
    30. 31. <ul><li>Other influencers on tourism demand include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy Costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currency Fluctuations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GDP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disposable Income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aging Populations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disease </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumer/voter response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government response to all the above </li></ul></ul>Climate Change Just One Factor The perfect storm?
    31. 32. Energy Crude oil exceeded $100 a barrel yesterday!
    32. 33. Energy World Oil resources are judged to be sufficient to meet projected growth in demand on the assumption that the necessary investment is forthcoming…..IAE, World Energy Outlook 200t
    33. 34. Water “ We are moving into what I think is an unprecedented period of water stress that we have no historical analogue to understand.” Sandra Postrel, Director, Global Water Policy Institute
    34. 35. GDP <ul><li>Real GDP per Capita (US) </li></ul><ul><li>Aviation growth 1-5-2.0 times GDP growth </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of lack of mitigation could cost as much as 20% of GDP (Stern) </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation costs </li></ul><ul><li>Disposable Income </li></ul>
    35. 36. Disposable Income <ul><li>Aging population </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Crunch </li></ul><ul><li>US consumer debt totals $2.46 trillion </li></ul><ul><li>UK household debt > 145% of household income </li></ul><ul><li>The personal savings rate has turned negative for the last four months . Not happened since great depression of the 1930s </li></ul>
    36. 37. Security <ul><li>Climate change has the potential to result in multiple chronic conditions…with economic and environmental conditions eroding as food production declines, diseases increase, clean water becomes scarce and large populations move and governments weaken…fostering the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism, increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies” </li></ul><ul><li>Food & water shortages </li></ul><ul><li>Large scale movement of people </li></ul><ul><li>Increased terrorism </li></ul><ul><li>Increased anti-terrorism measures </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on tourism demand </li></ul>
    37. 38. 09/24/11 Icarus Foundation © 38% said the environment is a consideration when traveling 38% stayed at an environmentally friendly hotel 34% willing to pay more for such a hotel 24% state that air travel should be avoided “ Travelers are willing to pay more to go green” Trip Advisor Changing Consumer Values
    38. 39. Government Responses <ul><li>Taxes – UK Airport Duty </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon Taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Cap and Trade </li></ul><ul><li>European Trading Scheme </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives to encourage mitigation </li></ul>
    39. 40. Response to Climate Change & Tourism in Canada <ul><li>Icarus Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Now recognized as an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Limited action – obvious exceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Growing use of offsetting </li></ul><ul><li>Individual companies </li></ul><ul><li>Arctic communities most concerned </li></ul>
    40. 41. Transportation of Tourists = 75% of Sector Emissions minimum * - does not include non-CO2 emissions and impact on climate Sub-Sectors CO 2 (Mt) Air transport * 522 40% Car transport 418 32% Other transport 39 3% Accommodation 274 21% Activities 52 4% TOTAL 1,307 Total World (IPCC 2007) 26,400 Tourism Contribution 4.95% Our Share of the Problem
    41. 42. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>Measure our Footprint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess true cost of tourism (all gases) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current data </li></ul></ul>e
    42. 43. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>2. Develop Awareness and Understanding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education and information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Symposia and Workshops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical Guidance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TIAC: Sustainability Tool Kit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market research </li></ul></ul>
    43. 44. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>3. Commit to Carbon Reduction and Mitigation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50-80% of 2000 levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transport Challenge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internalise environmental costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Green house gases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Landscape </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish Climate Change Action groups in each province </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top down and bottom up approaches needed </li></ul></ul>
    44. 45. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>4. Reframe Growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we, should we aim for our ambitious growth targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this a wise strategy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on net value to suppliers, host community and visitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in stewardship to be able to increases prices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Canada: Limited Edition </li></ul></ul>
    45. 46. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>5. Help The Industry Adapt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine vulnerable sectors and communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop adaptation priorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think RESILIENCE </li></ul></ul>
    46. 47. What Should Canada Do? <ul><li>6. Encourage Responsible Procurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine vulnerable sectors and communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop adaptation priorities </li></ul></ul>
    47. 48. Get Creative and Positive <ul><ul><li>Changing demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher prices, higher yields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer trips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More domestic tourism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possibly access limitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some substitution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-define tourism </li></ul></ul>
    48. 49. Mahatma Gandhi <ul><li>“ A technological society has two choices: first it can wait until catastrophic failures expose any system deficiencies, distortions and self deceptions. </li></ul><ul><li>Secondly, a culture can provide social checks and balances to correct for systemic distortion prior to catastrophic failures.” </li></ul><ul><li>Which do you want to be part of? </li></ul>
    49. 50. Thank You