Foreign holidays account for higher CO2 emissions

06/11/2009 15:02

In 2008, Dutch holiday travellers emitted 15.6 billion kilograms of CO2 into the atmosphere, 8 percent of total Dutch CO2 emissions and an increase by more than 16 percent in comparison to 2002. Foreign holidays mainly account for the increase. More and more Dutch holiday accommodations show their commitment to the environment by carrying a Green Key or eco label.

Nearly half of CO2 emissions caused by transport

Last year, foreign holidays accounted for 82 percent of CO2 emissions caused by holiday traffic. Domestic holidays accounted for 18 percent. Transport accounts for nearly half (45 percent) of holiday-related emissions. The majority was attributable to air traffic, although holidays by air constitute only 18 percent of the total number of holidays. In addition, holiday accommodations account for 32 percent of CO2 emissions and other activities, e.g. leisure activities, for 23 percent.

Total CO2 emissions by main type of holiday transport, 2008

Total CO2 emissions by main type of holiday transport, 2008

Increase CO2 emissions predominantly caused by foreign holidays

Since 2002, when 13.4 billion kilograms of CO2 was emitted into the atmosphere, holiday-related emissions have grown by an annual 2.6 percent. The increase was predominantly caused by foreign holidays. Between 2002 and 2008, foreign holiday-related emissions increased by an annual average of 4.0 percent, whereas domestic holiday-related emissions dropped by 2.6 percent annually.

CO2 emissions as a result of holidays by destination

CO2 emissions as a result of holidays by destination

As the number of holidays barely increased between 2002 and 2008, the increase can only be due to an increase in the average distance people travel during their holidays. In the period 2002-2008, the average distance annually grew by 4.9 percent. Because more tourists travelled by air to their holiday destination, CO2 emissions caused by holiday air traffic annually increased by 10.4 percent between 2002 and 2005 and by 5.8 percent between 2005 and 2008.

More and more accommodations committed to environmental issues

The number of Dutch holiday accommodations displaying their commitment to the environment by carrying the Green Key or eco label is growing continually. In the period July 2008−July 2009, 5 accommodations were awarded the Green Key label and 1 accommodation earned the eco label.

Proportion of accommodations carrying the Green Key or eco label

Proportion of accommodations carrying the Green Key or eco label

Between July 2008 and July 2009, the number of beds with a Green Key rating grew by 3,207 and 813 beds were awarded an eco label. In July 2009, more than 15 percent of beds in holiday bungalows, more than 11 percent sleeping places on camping sites, just under 11 percent of hotel beds and nearly 4 percent of beds in group accommodation carried a Green Key or eco label certificate.

Jamilja van der Meulen