TITLE

Urban Tourism Situation Analysis on CO2 Emissions and Future Low Carbon Scenarios Based on Decoupling Theory and Kaya Identities

AUTHOR(S)
WANG Qingrong; XIE Feilong
PUB. DATE
August 2014
SOURCE
Tourism Tribune / Lvyou Xuekan;2014, Vol. 29 Issue 8, p98
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Cities are the primary focus when analyzing tourism carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. From the perspective of tourism energy consumption, the study calculates China's tourism related CO2 emissions during 2001~2011, taking the city of Shenzhen as an example. The study found that: (1) the energy consumption and CO2 emissions arising from tourism in Shenzhen have gradually increased over the past 11 years, and after three periods of rapid growth, the growth rate has now slowed; (2) changes in tourism energy consumption and CO2 emission patterns have a close relationship with tourism GDP and visitor numbers. With development the tourism industry faces pressures relating to energy consumption, emissions and energy-saving emission reductions; (3) the tourism industry energy consumption and CO2 emissions total amounts–from large to small–are transportation, catering, accommodation, travel, entertainment and shopping, with the transportation component accounting for nearly 90% of the total. Energy-saving and emission reductions in the tourism industry are closely related to national and urban road construction; and, (4) for long distance journeys, aviation is optimal choice in terms of time, physical and economy cost; for short to medium distance journeys highways and railways are viable alternatives that can reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of tourist traffic. Therefore, although energy saving and CO2 emission reduction in the tourism industry are controlled by the growth of tourism GDP and visitor numbers, they can be enhanced by improving management levels, energy facilities, and guidance to promote low carbon consumption behavior. Based on decoupling theory and Kaya identities, the paper establishes three scenarios (A, B, and C) with 2011 taken as the base period. Tourism industry CO2 emission predications for 2015, 2018 and 2020 are undertaken for Shenzhen. The scenario analysis shows that: (5) CO2 emissions will reach 15.78 million tons in 2020 under scenario A. This amounts to 1.92 times that of the base level, and thus runs counter to the national commitment on CO2 emission reductions and to the Tourism Bureau’s objectives; (6) under the absolute decoupling scenario B, CO2 emission growth is zero, but energy productivity must increase from the current average annual growth rate of 2.92% to an average annual growth rate of 8.81%. This seems an ideal scenario, but "anti-growth" and "energy production efficiency improvement" are difficult to implement; and, (7) under the relative decoupling scenario C, CO2 emissions will reach 11.32 million tons in 2020. This is 1.38 times that of the base level, and thus seems the most suitable scenario for the tourist industry to maintain appropriate growth while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The tourism industry can realize the national target that commits to a 40%~50% reduction in energy intensity per unit of GDP by 2020 over 2005 figures. Therefore, scenario C is considered the optimal method for China to develop its economy while recognizing its responsibility as a major power for protecting the environment. Finally, the paper points out that the effective realization of scenario C requires the transformation of the tourism industry development strategy from supply-oriented to demand-oriented. Moreover, it needs to adopt a comprehensive development path including aspects such as alternative energy, efficiency improvement, technology research and development, regulatory governance and social innovation.
ACCESSION #
98010182

 

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