A new study blames German tourists for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions:
The wealthiest top 10% of the German population is responsible for almost 20% of the total climate impact of travel, finds a new study by researchers from CICERO and IIASA. Yet two-thirds of climate impact comes from the broad middle classes.
German travel volume is about five times higher than the global average. “If the global population traveled as Germans for 50 years, the global temperature would increase by roughly 0.8 °C”, says CICERO researcher Glen Peters.
Other countries probably have a similar issue:
The study takes Germany as example, but the researchers say their findings apply more broadly. The relatively few but long trips account for the majority of the impact. The use of aircraft and the fuel efficiency of the car are key determinants.
The study notes that two intra-Europe plane trips is equivalent to a year’s worth of driving. Perhaps one more reason for high-speed rail?