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Leisure travel distribution patterns of Germans: Insights for climate policy


Abstract and Figures

Transport accounts for an estimated 23% of energy-related global CO2 emissions, a large share of this for leisure and tourism purposes. Despite national and sector-specific pledges to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, there are no consistent policies for the transport sector, which is characterized by continued strong growth. Against this background, this paper investigates holiday travel patterns of one of the most important tourism markets worldwide, Germany, based on data from annual travel surveys ('Reiseanalyse', with n=7500). Data on trip numbers, transport modes and travel distances are evaluated, indicating that emissions of greenhouse gases related to holiday travel (including trips lasting 5 days and longer) are significant at an average 320 kg CO2 per trip and person. Findings also show that the distribution of holiday travel emissions is highly skewed among the population and heavily depending on trip type. While about a quarter of the population does not participate in holiday travel at all, a small, highly mobile and wealthier share of travellers, 4% of the German population, engages in five or more holiday trips per year. These travellers are also more likely to participate in the most carbon-intense trips, long-haul flights and cruises, which generate 2 t CO2 and more per trip.
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Please quote as:
Gössling, S., Lohmann, M., Grimm, B. and Scott, D. 2017. Leisure travel distribution patterns of
Germans: Insights for climate policy. Case Studies In Transport
German holiday transport patterns: Insights for climate policy
Transport accounts for an estimated 23% of energy-related global CO2 emissions, a large share of
this for leisure and tourism purposes. Despite national and sector-specific pledges to reduce
global emissions of greenhouse gases, there are no consistent policies for the transport sector,
which is characterized by continued strong growth. Against this background, this paper
investigates holiday travel patterns of one of the most important tourism markets worldwide,
Germany, based on data from annual travel surveys (‘Reiseanalyse’, with n=7500). Data on trip
numbers, transport modes and travel distances are evaluated, indicating that emissions of
greenhouse gases related to holiday travel (including trips lasting 5 days and longer) are
significant at an average 320 kg CO2 per trip and person. Findings also show that the distribution
of holiday travel emissions is highly skewed among the population and heavily depending on trip
type. While about a quarter of the population does not participate in holiday travel at all, a small,
highly mobile and wealthier share of travellers, 4% of the German population, engages in five or
more holiday trips per year. These travellers are also more likely to participate in the most
carbon-intense trips, long-haul flights and cruises, which generate 2 t CO2 and more per trip.
Keywords: Aviation; Climate Change; Climate Policy; Cruise; Emissions; Germany; Tourism
1. Introduction
Emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) totalled 49 ± 4.5 GtCO2eq/yr in 2010.
Transport is contributing 23% (6.7GtCO2) of total energy-related CO2 emissions (IPCC 2014a).
On global average, 72.1% of total direct emissions from transports are road-related, followed by
aviation (10.6%), and international and coastal shipping (9.3%) (IPCC 2014a). Aviation deserves
special attention, however, because a considerable share of this transport subsector’s emissions
are short-lived, and hence not comparable in terms of their global warming impact (Lee et al.
2009). In the future, emissions from transport are expected to grow, with the IPCC (2014a: 637)
noting that without policy interventions, transport related CO2 emissions could double by 2050,
and triple by 2100. Most of this will come from aviation, with Boeing (2015) and Airbus (2015)
anticipating growth in revenue passenger kilometres in the order of 4.9% per year. The
International Energy Agency suggests that this may lead to a tripling of energy use for aviation
by 2050 compared to 2005, and that the sector will by then account for 19% of all transport
energy (IEA 2009, high baseline scenario).
Emission growth in the transport sector is consequently in conflict with IPCC (2014a)
conclusions that drastic reductions in emissions will be necessary in the short-term future if
humanity is to stay within the ‘safe’ guardrail of a 2°C global average temperature increase,
compared to pre-industrial levels. To limit global warming to this level is the declared policy goal
of 196 countries that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC 2012), and has recently been strengthened to ‘well below 2°C’ in the Paris
Agreement of the 21st Convention of Parties (COP21) in December 2015. This translates into a
global emissions budget from all anthropogenic sources of approximately 1,000 GtC, of which
some 65% have already been spent (IPCC 2014a). Countries have made a range of unconditional
and conditional pledges to limit GHG emissions (UNFCCC 2015), but analysis indicates that
current pledges will not be sufficient to meet the 2°C objective (Reilly et al. 2015). Given current
emission trajectories, it appears more likely that the CO2 emission budget for staying within the
2°C limit will be exhausted within 30 years (Friedlingstein et al. 2014). All economic sectors,
including tourism and transport, will thus have to make contributions to emission reductions.
Within this broader context, there is evidence that contributions to transport emissions are highly
skewed between countries and individuals (Brand and Boardman 2008; Brand and Preston 2010;
Gössling et al. 2009a,b; Lassen et al. 2006; Schäfer et al. 2009). To better understand these
interrelationships, and in particular the role of travel frequency (the number of trips per traveller
per year) and trip energy intensity (as a measure for emissions associated with a single holiday),
this paper analyses holiday travel patterns, which have received more limited attention in the
literature. Focus is on Germany, one of the most important tourism markets worldwide, based on
data from the national annual travel survey (“Reiseanalyse”). The purpose is to identify the most
emission-intense leisure trips, as well as traveller segments making more significant contributions
to climate change.
2. Climate policy and passenger transport emissions
The IPCC suggests that by 2050, reductions in transport CO2 emissions in the order of 15-40%
(against a 2010 baseline) could be achieved through a range of mitigation measures, including
“fuel carbon and energy intensity improvements, infrastructure development, behavioural change
and comprehensive policy implementation” (IPCC 2014b: 21). The design of “comprehensive”
transport policies to significantly reduce emissions remains however unclear with regard to the
focus of interventions (producer/consumer) as well as the type of policy (e.g. command-and-
control, market-based, voluntary).
Transport behaviour is primarily influenced by cost and time (Schäfer et al. 2009), and effective
transport policies could simply raise the cost of energy and/or GHG emissions, or remove fossil
fuel subsidies and other sector-specific state aid (OECD 2009, 2012, 2015). As an example, the
UK has maintained a long-standing duty on air travel, while national governments continue to
extend a range of significant subsidies to aviation (Gössling et al. 2017). As emissions from
shipping and car traffic remain equally unaddressed by legislation on both international and
national levels (UNFCCC 2015; OECD and UNEP 2011), there is broad academic consensus that
current policy measures are insufficient to achieve emission reductions necessary for the
transport and tourism sector to be consistent with international climate policy goals (e.g. Anable
et al., 2012; Banister, 2008, 2011; Chapman, 2007; Creutzig et al. 2015; Marsden and Rye 2010;
Peeters and Eijgelaar 2014).
Global policy approaches to reduce emissions are based on national per capita averages. This was
the basis for the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, as well as the Paris Agreement in 2015 with its focus on
‘common but differentiated’ mitigation goals (UNFCCC 2015). Table 1 shows distributions in
CO2 emissions in countries that are major contributors to global emissions. Transport emissions
account for between 6% (China) and 35% (France) of national CO2 emissions, and vary in
absolute terms between less than 0.1 t CO2 (India) and 4.5 t CO2 (USA) per person and year.
These relationships are of importance, as they illustrate that in countries such as the USA,
averaged annual emissions from transport are higher than those emitted on global average in
Table 1: Emissions of CO2 by subsector, 2005*
Source: based on Schäfer et al. 2009; UNESA 2015
*Including emissions from international air traffic.
Differences in individual contributions to global emissions of greenhouse gases, irrespective of
country, are relevant for climate policy. With regard to international air travel, estimates of 3.5
billion passengers in 2015 (IATA 2015a) suggest that a large share of humanity is traveling by
air. However, as passengers are counted multiple times (arrival/departure, transfers) or engage in
multiple trips per year, it has been estimated that only 2-3% of the world population participate in
international air travel on an annual basis (Peeters et al. 2006). A distinction also needs to be
made between business and leisure travel, as business travellers are generally more mobile than
leisure travellers, perhaps with the exception of long-term backpackers (Cohen 2011). There are
both business and leisure travellers for whom frequent flying is a norm, sometimes involving
hundreds of individual flights per year (Gössling et al. 2009a,b; Hall 2005). Travel intensity
consequently varies: Ummel (2014) highlights this for the USA, where the top 2% income takers
have emission footprints four times larger than those in the bottom quintile. UNWTO (2015)
suggests that with regard to international travel, 14% of all trips are made for business and
professional reasons, 27% for visiting friends and relatives, health or religious reasons, and 53%
for leisure & recreation. In the future, the relative share of leisure, recreation and holiday related
travel is expected to increase (UNWTO 2011), indicating the significance of leisure-related travel
motives in a wealthier and growing world population.
Various studies have investigated business and leisure travel patterns. Lassen et al. (2006) found
that the average employee of Hewlett-Packard participated in 3.8 business international trips per
(Mt CO2)
related (Mt
as % of
travel per
(t CO2)
United States
United Kingdom
year, which virtually always involved air travel, covering 17,000 km on average. While 25% of
Hewlett-Packard employees did not participate in any trips at all, the most frequent traveller had
participated in 43 trips. A survey of travellers at Landvetter airport, Gothenburg, Sweden
(Gössling et al. 2009b) found that the 12% of the most mobile travellers had participated in at
least 30 and up to 300 return flights per year, 98% of these for business. The 3.8% of the most
frequent flyers (>50 return flights per year) accounted for 28% of all trips made. These studies
indicate highly skewed distributions of 'traveller to trip' and 'traveller to transport distance' ratios.
Studies investigating leisure travel patterns have also found considerable differences between
individuals. A study of international leisure tourists in Zanzibar, Tanzania (Gössling et al. 2006),
found, for instance, that the average per capita distance flown for leisure in 2002 and 2003 (air
travel only) was 34,000 passenger kilometres (pkm), excluding the trip to Zanzibar. The ten most
frequent travellers had flown almost 180,000 pkm each over the 22 months covered by the study,
visiting up to 24 countries. Together, these ten travellers (3.9% of the sample) accounted for 20%
of the overall distances travelled. Similar ratios have been found elsewhere. A study of the
French population revealed, for instance, that five per cent of the population accounted for 50%
of the distances travelled (Gössling et al. 2009a). The most frequent travellers in this study,
mostly individuals with net incomes exceeding 7,500 Euros per month, also chose more distant
destinations, covering distances 17.3 times greater than the average traveller. This leads to
skewed distributions in emissions, with for instance the top 10% of travellers causing 43% of
personal travel emissions (Brand and Boardman 2008).
Overall, these studies suggest that a small share of the most frequent travellers, including both
business and leisure travellers, is responsible for a disproportionately large share of transport
related emissions. More detailed, nationally representative studies of in particular holiday travel
patterns are however missing. Against this background, this paper investigates transport
distributions within the German-speaking population, i.e. interrelationships of travel frequencies
(trip numbers), distances travelled, and transport modes used. The overall purpose is to identify
the most emission-intense trips and traveller segments. Results are also compared to holiday
types, length of stay and spending, to derive further insights of relevance for climate policy.
3. Method
To understand the distribution of emissions from holiday travel, data contained in the German
‘Reiseanalyse’ (“travel analysis”) was evaluated with a focus on travel frequencies, distances
covered, and transport modes. Germany is the third largest nation in terms of tourism spending,
and an important outbound market (UNWTO 2015). Reiseanalyse (RA) is a representative
survey of the holiday travel behaviour of the German-speaking population that has been carried
out since 1970. The survey is focused on holiday travel with a trip length of five days or more.
Data collection relies on random route samples involving face-to-face interviews (Bauer 2016).
Face-to-face data compiled in the RA 2015 is the basis for this article, including n=7,720
personal interviews in the home of the respondents. This is representative of the German-
speaking population aged 14 and above living in private households, comprising 70.5 million
individuals (Schmücker et al. 2015). Note that with regard to definitions, focus is on holiday
trips, which involve two legs (going/returning), and both domestic as well as international
holiday trips lasting at least 5 days.
The analysis has the purpose to shed light on the contribution made by frequent holiday travellers
as well as specifically energy-intense holiday trips to emissions of greenhouse gases. Data is
analysed with regard to travel frequencies, distances travelled, and transport modes. Travel
frequencies are analysed on the basis of trip numbers. Existing studies have used classifications
of non-mobile (no international trips), slightly mobile (1 international trip per year), fairly
mobile (2 trips), highly mobile (3-5 trips) and hypermobile (6 or more trips per year)
travellers (Frändberg and Vilhelmson 2003); as well as cluster-based classifications including
immobiles, frequent travellers on short trips (<3 days), travellers using trains or cars with a
focus on destinations within home country’, travellers on aircraft, favouring European
destinations, and frequent travellers in home country and abroad, using all transport modes
(Gössling et al. 2009a). In this study, the Frändberg and Vilhelmson (2003) classification is used,
though three or more trips define the most frequent travellers. Analysis distinguishes
nonmobiles (no holiday trips), slightly mobiles (one holiday trip per year), fairly mobiles
(two holiday trips per year) and highly mobiles (three or more holiday trips).
Furthermore, given the importance of specific trips in generating emissions (Eijgelaar et al.
2010), highly energy and emission-intense holidays were also identified. Such carbon holidays’
were defined to involve travel distances exceeding 2,000 km (one way) and the use of aircraft as
transport mode. Given the carbon-intensity of cruises, all cruise trips are also considered ‘carbon
holidays’. Trip distances for all journeys were calculated for city-to-city great circle (air) or
terrestrial (road) distances. Note that city-to-city great circle calculations will underestimate true
travel distances, as air travel often involves detours, for instance in the case of no-fly zones. Per
traveller/trip emission calculations are based on (passenger kilometre) distances travelled with
different transport modes and multiplied by emission factors specific for these transport modes
and the German transport system. More specifically, this includes data for German railways at
0.011 kg CO2/pkm for electric highspeed trains (note that the 2014 average throughout the
German railway system is 0.056 kg CO2/pkm; Bahn 2015). For German cars, the average is 0.044
g CO2/pkm in 2015, based on IFEU (2012). Distance-based air transport emission factors are
derived from Gössling et al. (2015) (0.099-0.183 kg CO2/pkm in 2015), while cruise emissions
are calculated on the basis of estimates for per day emissions (at a global average of 169 kg
CO2/day; Eijgelaar et al. 2010). All calculations focus on CO2, and do only consider energy
throughput. This focus consequently omits the considerable additional warming effect of
emissions from aviation released at flight altitude (Lee et al. 2009), as well as potentially
significant lifecycle emissions (transport mode production) as well as emissions related to
infrastructure construction and maintenance (e.g. Chester and Horvath 2009; von Rozycki et al.
Two limitations of the RA survey need to be highlighted. First, a share of very highly mobile
travellers is likely to be excluded in the data, as very wealthy travellers that use personal forms of
transport (private or corporate aircraft or yachts) are not captured in random route sampling
procedures and thus not adequately represented in the data. Second, for the highly mobile,
business and leisure trip motives may often merge (Gössling et al. 2009a). As a result of these
omissions, data presented in the following sections needs to be considered a conservative
4. Results
Table 2 shows the distribution of holiday travel intensities in the German-speaking population,
expressed in the number of trips made by individuals in 2014. About a quarter of the population,
the ‘non-mobiles’, did not participate in holiday travel at all. The largest group, ‘slightly mobiles
(61%), participated in one holiday trip. Fairly mobile’ travellers engaged in two holiday trips
(13%). Finally, the ‘highly mobiles’ (4%, or 2.8 million people) engaged in 9.52 million trips,
corresponding to 14% of all holiday trips (average: 3.4 trips per traveller). Across the share of the
German-speaking population that participated in holiday travel, the average travel frequency is
1.3 trips per year.
Table 2: Distribution of holiday trips with a length of at least 5 days, 2014
Database: German-speaking population aged 14 and older
Definitions: non-mobiles: no holiday trips; slightly mobiles: one holiday trip per year; fairly
mobiles: two holiday trips per year; highly mobiles: three or more holiday trips per year.
Source: FUR 2015 (RA 2015 face-to-face)
Further analysis with regard to trip distances indicates the relevance of this parameter for
emissions, as long distances virtually always involve energy-intense air travel. Table 3 shows that
trips over distances between 500-999 km account for one quarter (24%) of all trips, and trips
between 1000-1999 km for another quarter (26%). Trips between 2000-9999 km and those
>10,000 km accounted for 19% and 2% of trip numbers, respectively. In absolute numbers, the
1.44 million trips >10,000 pkm generated a travel volume of 17.13 billion pkm (14.7%).
Together with the 2000-9999 km distance class, the 21% of the most distant trips (14.89 million)
thus accounted for 59.7% (69.35 billion pkm) of all distances travelled. These most energy-
intense ‘carbon holidays’ mostly involve air travel (98%), while cruises account for 2%. Overall,
German’s total holiday travel was 232 billion pkm in 2014 (including return trips), 74% of this by
air (172 billion pkm), 18% by car (42 billion pkm by car), 4% by bus (8 billion pkm) and 2%
(4 billion pkm) by train. In addition, considerable distances are travelled by cruise ship, though
there is no data on this.
Table 3: Holiday-trips (>5 days) by one-way distance, 2014
total distance
(one way, billion
<500 km
500-999 km
1,000-1,999 km
2,000-9,999 km
10,000 km >
Database: German-speaking population aged 14 and older
Source: FUR (RA 2015 face-to-face)
A more refined understanding of the climate impact of holiday travel emerges if emission
distribution ratios from these trips are calculated for transport modes. Table 4 shows this
distribution by transport mode and per trip, indicating that total transport emissions from German
holiday travel amounted to 22.7 Mt CO2 in 2014. This estimate includes train (0.2% of total
emissions); bus (1.1%); car (8.1%); air travel (77.4%); cruise (11%); travel to cruise port of
departure/arrival (1.7%); ship (mostly ferries; 0.5%); and other transport (motorcycle; <0.1%). As
outlined, this estimate only considers energy throughput with a focus on CO2. The data also
reveals that long-haul flights (>10,000 km one way) have a disproportionally large climate
impact: Even though representing less than 2% of all trips, they account for 14% of CO2. Cruise
trips are equally energy intense, at 1.4% of holidays they contribute 12.7% of emissions
(including travel to/from port). In comparison, train and bus are insignificant in terms of
emissions (0.2% and 1.1%, respectively), yet representing 13% of trips. Cars cause 8.1% of
emissions, even though they are the most often used transport mode (45% of all trips). Note that
the estimate does not consider travel in the destination and higher energy requirements of camper
vans and mobile homes. Findings underline the importance of long-haul flights and cruises in
adding to national holiday emissions. This is also illustrated in Figure 1, which shows the
contribution of different transport modes to overall emissions, in relation to trip numbers. Air
transport is divided into distance classes.
Table 4: CO2-emissions by main transport mode, 2014
(kg CO2/pkm)
per trip
CO2 emissions
Air <500 km
10,000 km>
Travel to cruise
169 kg/day
mixed calc.
mixed calc.
German-speaking population aged 14 and older, holiday trips 5+ days; * without cruises, distance
unknown, estimate; ** e.g. bicycle and motorcycle, estimate for average emissions; *** transport
to/from destination only. Omits travel within destination. The opposite is true for cruise, which is
based on 11.3 cruise days; travel to port of departure/arrival is calculated separately and included
in ‘travel to cruise’.
Source: Bahn 2015; FUR 2015 (RA 2015 face-to-face); Eijgelaar et al. 2010; IFEU 2012
Figure 2: Holiday transport modes as percentage of trips and emissions
Source: Authors
Comparative emissions per trip are illustrated in Figure 2. Train-based holidays involve the
smallest carbon footprints, at 12 kg CO2, followed by bus (46 kg CO2) and car (57 kg CO2). Car-
based holidays are comparably climate-friendly as a result of load factors, at 3.2 persons per car.
All air travel is carbon-intense, though the figure illustrates that in particular trips with one-way
distances exceeding 2,000 km and cruises contribute disproportionally to overall emissions. Air
travel exceeding one-way distances of 10,000 km results in about 2.4 t CO2, and cruise trips 2 t
CO2. Any such transport mode thus ‘depletesa sustainable annual per capita carbon budget, at
an estimated 4 t CO2 per capita and year, by more than half. This estimate is based on the
assumption that current globally averaged emissions of approximately 4.5 t CO2 per person and
year are not climatically sustainable (IPCC 2014a).
Note: cruise trips are not directly comparable with other trips, because this type of holiday is based on
constant movement, while transport has the purpose of overcoming distance to arrive in a given
destination for all other trips. Thus, we don’t provide an average distance for cruise trips.
Figure 2: Average emissions and one-way distances per holiday trip and main transport
Source: Authors
Emissions can also be broken down to individual per traveller contributions. An analysis of the
100 most mobile travellers of the sample (in trip numbers) suggests that these participated in five
to 12 holiday trips (>5 days) in 2014. Distances covered varied between 2,704 km and 58,112 km
(all holiday trips in 2014; return distance). Analysis of these trips suggests that travel frequency is
not necessarily a predictor of emissions. For example, one traveller participating in 12 trips
emitted less than 15 kg CO2 in total, because all trips were by train and involved close
destinations. In comparison, the five holiday trips of another traveller, four of these cruises,
contributed to more than 8 t CO2. A relationship was however found between the number of
holiday trips taken by individual travellers and the share of carbon holidays with a return
distance exceeding 4,000 km. In other words, more mobile travellers are more likely to engage in
longer trips. Among the slightly mobiles, one fifth (21%) engaged in carbon holidays; a share
that increased to 27% among the fairly mobiles, and to 74% among the highly mobiles (Table 5).
Table 5: Participation in carbon holidays by traveller classification
Slightly mobiles
Fairly mobiles
Highly mobiles
All holiday trips
Carbon holidays as
number/share of all
holiday trips:
as share of trips
Definition carbon holidays: holiday trips with a length of five or more days, covering a one-way-distance of more
than 2,000 km and involving the use of aircraft or ship as the main transport mode.
Definition of segments: ‘slightly mobiles’: one holiday trip per year; ‘fairly mobiles’: 2 holiday trips per year;
‘highly mobiles’: three or more holiday trips.
Source: FUR 2015 (RA 2015 face-to-face)
Data on holiday transport distributions was also analysed in the context of sociodemographic
traveller characteristics. Among the highly mobiles, 61% are female and 39% male, and a large
share of them is older (average: 53 years; with 30% being 70 years and above). Highly mobile
travellers are characterized by a higher formal education, and claim above average household
incomes. Holiday motives differ, with highly mobiles valuing aspects of “get to know other
countries, see the world” (+43 percentage points, compared to general traveller population), do
something cultural and educational” (+36), “get completely new impressions, discover something
totally different” (+33), “new experiences, diversion from the ordinary” (+28), travel around, be
on the move” (+18), and “meet the locals” (+18). Holiday activities are also significantly
different from other travellers, including “visiting natural attractions” (+37, compared to general
population), visiting sites of cultural or historical interest/ museums” (+34), and trips,
excursions” (+26). In contrast, only a third of the highly mobiles (35%) have an interest in
environmentally friendly holidays, compared to 42% in the general population.
With regard to the share of the most carbon-intense trips, analysis reveals that these are mostly
made in summer (37%; average distribution 49%), as well as in autumn (28%; 23%). Carbon
holidays last longer than other holiday trips, on average 15.8 days, compared to 12.5 days for the
average German holiday trip. Three quarters (75%) of carbon holidays involve hotels for
accommodation, compared to 46% for the average holiday trip. Spending for ‘carbon holidays is
67% higher, at €1,603 per trip and person, compared to €958 for the average traveller. Per person
per day, spending for carbon holidays is 34% higher, at €109 per person per day, compared to
€81 per person per day for the average holiday. ‘Carbon holidays are particularly often sun-sand-
sea holidays (34%, as compared to 21% on average). These insights create additional
complexities for climate policy, and are discussed in the following.
5. Discussion
The main purpose of this paper was to analyse leisure travel patterns of the German population,
and to derive insights for climate policy. A number of key insights emerge from the results. First
of all, among the 7,500 respondents, the greatest number of holiday trips was 12, and the
maximum distance travelled 58,112 pkm. This is lower than the distances travelled by tourists in
long-haul destinations such as Zanzibar (Gössling et al. 2006), where more mobile traveller
populations may concentrate. In particular backpackers can be constantly on the move, described
by Cohen (2011) as ‘lifestyle travellers’. It is possible that these are underrepresented in this
sample. Socio-demographics of the most highly mobile travellers in this study however reveal
that these travellers often belong to the high to very high income segments of the population, with
travel motives such as being on the move or sun, sand, and sea.
Findings reveal that holiday travel of the German-speaking population causes emissions in the
order of 22.7 Mt CO2, i.e. corresponding to the equivalent of about 16% of German CO2
emissions from transport (about 163 Mt CO2; UBA 2016). This estimate does only include
holiday trips of 5 days and more, and excludes accommodation or travel in the destination. It is
based on the assessment of energy throughput, and ignores considerable lifecycle emissions.
Averaged, a German holiday trip (transport) entails 320 kg CO2, and the average German’s
contribution to leisure holiday travel is 415 kg CO2 per year (at 1.3 trips, for the 77% of the
population taking holidays).
Further insights were derived from the analysis of ratios, with 4% of travellers engaging in 14%
of trips, and the 15% most distant trips accounting for 60% of the total distances travelled. These
long-haul trips also generate a large share of overall emissions. The top quartile of the most
energy-consuming trips results in 70% of all holiday CO2. Considering even non-CO2 emissions,
the contribution of these trips to global warming is even higher. On a per trip basis, long-haul
flights (>10.000 km) and cruise ship holidays are thus more relevant for climate policy than other
holidays. In Germany, average holiday distances grew from 1,415 km to 1,600 km between 2002
and 2011 (+13%; Frick & Grimm 2014, Grimm & Schmücker 2015), a trend mostly explained by
growth in air travel (Lohmann et al. 2014). These insights confirm the need to regulate long-haul
air travel and cruises in highly developed tourism economies.
Currently, emissions from aviation and shipping are not covered by national policies. Aviation
emission reductions are to be pursued through the International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO), in recognition of the difficulty of assigning responsibility for international emissions to
individual countries (Clarke and Chagas 2009). Emissions from ships are the mandate of the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) (Bows-Larkin et al. 2015). The European
Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (2015: 9) concludes that
“Initiatives and actions taken by ICAO and IMO to address GHG emissions started late and have
been insufficient from an environmental perspective to date: they do not take appropriate account
of global decarbonisation requirements.
Currently two major international efforts aim to stabilize and eventually reduce emissions from
air travel, including the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and ICAO’s
Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) scheme. The EU
Commission independently developed proposals for including aviation in its Emission Trading
Scheme that imposes caps on large emitters. Aviation has been included since 2012. The scheme
currently only applies to flights within the territory of the European Economic Area countries
(i.e. the EU28, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). In 2013, under pressure to allow airlines time
to find international consensus at the ICAO level, international aviation was frozen from the ETS.
The amended EU ETS Directive specifies that once the ICAO mitigation proposal (CORSIA) is
available, the Commission should report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the
matter and if appropriate prepare a proposal amending the directive (Europa 2017). Even though
it is unclear how the EU Parliament and Council will decide on the issue, CORSIA has already
been challenged as an insufficient approach to mitigation, because the scheme:
Only covers CO2, ignoring non-CO2 emissions that are estimated to have the same order
of magnitude as the forcing caused by CO2.
Applies to only to 80% international air traffic, due to various exceptions, such as Small
Island Developing States (EC 2017).
Only covers emissions exceeding 2020 levels (i.e. it allows the sector to grow for another
three years in emissions, before additional emissions will be ‘covered’ by the scheme).
Is voluntary in its pilot (2021 through 2023) and first phase (2024-2026), involving only a
share of airlines for at least another decade. Only after 2035 would most airlines be forced
to join.
Even though only a small share of emissions from aviation will be covered, the scheme
would require offsetting at unprecedented scales. This will result in a situation where the
scale of projects increases every year while available project opportunities decline. If
expected breakthroughs in alternate low-carbon fuels do not materialize as early as
projected, the requirements for offsetting credits would escalate rapidly after 2030.
Plans to source offset credits through low-cost projects, including Reduced Emissions
from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+). Forest
projects have been criticized as highly unreliable offset projects, which in the case of
REDD+ do not sequester carbon, rather than continue to maintain existing carbon pools.
This will lead to a situation where atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rise, even where
projects work.
In the absence of credible international strategies to reduce emissions from aviation and shipping,
national climate policy regains importance (OECD and UNEP 2011). The Organization of
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD 2003, 2005, 2012) repeatedly outlined that
removing subsidies and imposing a cost on fossil fuels is the most efficient approach to reduce
emissions, consistent with the polluter pays principle. Given that the contribution made by air
travel to overall emissions increases with distance, there is a need to specifically address long-
haul flights in climate policies. Low cost air travel is also of relevance, as the sector delivers
cheap mobility to mass markets, creating interest in aviation and turning air travel into a norm.
Research as presented in this paper also raises the question of travel motives. There has been a
longstanding argument that a considerable share of air travel is induced’ by low fares (Nilsson
2009), while more recent research also raises the prospect of travel for social capital generation
(Gössling and Stavrinidi 2016). This is reflected in findings, where travel motivations include
being on the move”. In a carbon-constrained future, there may have to be a debate as to what
travel is desirable. This is also true for cruises, which are specifically problematic from a climate
change point of view.
Complexities arise out of insights that a share of travel affected by national climate policies
would involve trips desirable from destination viewpoints: this includes trips made during low-
season, with greater trip-length, by travellers who are potentially flexible in their spending, or
who spend more than “average” travellers. Many of the trips contributing most to emissions are
made in spring and autumn, which is of relevance given many destinations’ struggle to attract
low-season visitors, and hence these destinations’ economic viability. Climate policy may have to
consider this, also because demand in high season influences the overall capacity considered
economically viable by airlines and cruise operators (measured in airport or cruise port capacity,
or seat numbers/berths). To reduce high season capacity is likely to also have repercussions for
load factors: Currently, one in five air seats are flown empty (IATA 2015b). Evening out demand
would also affect air travel demand growth and price structures, but may require greater
flexibility in European holiday periods. The implementation of national climate policies in the
transport sector would also force destinations to reconsider their products and marketing
strategies, and to invest greater efforts into the optimization of their systems.
Finally, results confirm considerable differences in travel activity. Climate policy will
consequently have to consider principles of equity that underline the Paris Agreement. The
transport sector provides ample evidence that it is a very small share of wealthy citizens
contributing disproportionally to emissions (Brand and Boardman 2008; Brand and Preston 2010;
Ummel 2014). Even though a phenomenon more generally associated with the USA, where the
wealthiest have their own travel networks (Frank 2007), evidence grows that without tackling the
travel patterns of the most mobile, mitigation in line with IPCC recommendations is unfeasible.
6. Conclusions
This paper evaluated German leisure travel data for holidays lasting five days or longer, with the
overall goal to derive insights for the design of climate policies. Results show that there are
significant differences in holiday participation and the emissions caused by individual trips or
travellers. On one side of the spectrum, 23% of the population do not participate in leisure travel
at all, while a small share of the population (4%) engages in three or more holiday trips per year.
These travellers were also more likely to participate in the most carbon-intense trips, defined as
air travel with return-distances exceeding 4,000 km, as well as cruises. Long-haul flights with
return distances exceeding 20,000 km were found to generate almost 2.4 t CO2 per trip, while
cruises, at an average length of 11.3 days, produced emissions of 2.0 t CO2 per trip. As a result,
the 3% of the most energy-intense trips contribute to 25% of all holiday transport emissions in
Germany. Flights between 2,000-10,000 km (12% of all trips) contribute another 45%. Taken
together, 15% of the trips thus generate 70% of German’s holiday transport emissions.
For climate policies to be efficient, it is crucial to focus on these travel segments. In the absence
of credible international sectoral strategies to reduce emissions, aviation and cruises may have to
be targeted at the national scale. An example of a feasible strategy is the UK’s air passenger duty,
which includes distance ‘bands’ and flight class considerations, and is thus somewhat
proportional to emissions. A variety of countries in Europe have introduced or plan to introduce
similar duties, though these could more accurately reflect the climate implications of different
trips, as well as the fact that highly mobile travellers are disproportionally more wealthy.
Precedents for the application of non-linear carbon costs to other consumer transport decision
contexts exist, for example in the form of bonus/malus systems (D’Haultfœuille et al. 2011).
International tourism is a form of economic activity that is no more essential to economic
development than electricity generation; steel, cement, or chemical production. All of these other
economic sectors will have more stringent emission reduction expectations and requirements
placed upon them through country pledges to the Paris Agreement and the tourism sector cannot
expect special status exemptions if the goal of the international community to restrict global
warming to ‘well below 2°C’ is to be achieved. The overall cost of action for tourism in line with
international climate objectives has been shown to be comparably low (Scott et al. 2015), and as
insights from this paper suggest, tailored climate policy increasing the cost of in particular carbon
intense holidays will represents an important step in meeting the sector’s decarbonization
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... In addition, the German population produced more emissions by touristic travel abroad (53.9 %) than by touristic travel within Germany (Schulz et al., 2020). Overall, Germany is one of the most important tourism markets worldwide (Gössling et al., 2017), which requires further investigation of long-distance travel behaviour in Germany. ...
... These long-distance high-mobiles were characterized with the above-mentioned characteristics: rather high income, high level of education, employed and male. The unequal distribution and the relevance of income is confirmed by the study on aviation by Gössling and Humpe (2020) as well as by the study on holiday travel patterns of Germans by Gössling et al. (2017). A recent study by Mattioli et al. (2021) further highlights the inclusion of migration background and social network dispersion as important aspects in explaining greenhouse gas emissions from air travel. ...
For understanding long-distance travel and its impact on the environment, the travel behaviour of people living in urban areas is of particular interest. Although urbanites tend to travel short distances in their everyday lives using environmentally friendly means of transport, studies indicate a different picture for their long-distance travel. Urbanites show a higher demand for long-distance as they travel more frequently and to more distant places, which in addition involves a higher demand for air travel. By using travel survey data from 893 people living in Berlin and Munich (Germany), we analyse the travel behaviour of urban people with a focus on leisure travel. The method is based on an integrated approach including everyday travel, norms and attitudes, sociodemographic characteristics as well as spatial aspects. By applying a latent class analysis, we identify four different leisure travel types among urbanites. The analysis of sociodemographic and psychographic characteristics as well as mode choice reveal distinct differences between the types. The leisure travel type ‘young travel-addicted urbanites’ is characterized by car-less people from highly dense urban areas. Even though these people behave environmentally friendly in everyday travel and show a higher ecological norm orientation than other types, they reported the highest frequency of touristic trips and the most air travels. This shows how long-distance travel can be in tension with everyday mobility of city dwellers.
... Research based on official representative surveys are rare (Schubert, Sohre, & Ströbel, 2020) and the use of count-data models, that allows to explain the number of holiday flights, are seldom employed so far. Exceptions to this are relating to the approach, Gössling, Lohmann, Grimm, and Scott (2017), Dargay and Clark (2012), Alcock et al. (2017) andBruderer Enzler (2017) concerning the dataset as well as Schubert et al. (2020) regarding both aspects. ...
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This article estimates a count-data model on the flight behaviour of Austrian holiday-makers based on information from a large representative quarterly survey spanning the years 2014–2016. On average, the number of holiday flights ranges between 0.6 and 1.2 per year for residents in the least populated region and the capital, respectively. Results of the estimations reveal that the number of holiday flights is highest for persons with tertiary degrees, of a young age (16–24 years) and capital city residents, while it is lowest for individuals with children and large households. Residents of the capital city fly 78 percent more often in a given quarter than those living in Carinthia, the most rural region. The Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition analysis reveals that the difference is rather related to location than to variations in individual characteristics. Socio-demographic aspects such as age, household size and travelling with children are of no relevance for the holiday flying behaviour of capital residents.
... Moreover, recent research suggests that aviation's contribution to atmospheric warming is even larger, namely "three times the rate of that associated with aviation CO 2 emissions alone when calculated as net effective radiative forcing" (Lee et al., 2021, p. 2). These emissions, however, seem to be caused by a relatively small share of the most frequent travellers who have the means to fly (i.e., money, social status, see e.g., Gössling et al., 2017). Hence, if the majority of humankind flew, this would increase flight emissions drastically: Predictions for the year 2050 suggest that commercial aircraft emissions might triple (EESI, 2019) and account for a quarter of the global carbon budget (Graver et al., 2019). ...
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Global crises such as the climate crisis require fast concerted action, but individual and structural barriers prevent a socio-ecological transformation in crucial areas such as the mobility sector. An identification with people all over the world (i.e., global identity ) and an openness toward less consumption (i.e., sufficiency orientation ) may represent psychological drivers of a socio-ecological transformation. We examined the compatibility of both concepts as well as their relation to people’s support of a decarbonised mobility system and their flight mobility behaviour – a CO 2 -intensive behaviour that may be particularly difficult to refrain from for globally identified people, but less so for sufficiency-oriented people. In an online study conducted in Germany ( N = 317), we found that global identity and sufficiency orientation were positively related. Both were negatively related to past flight-related CO 2 emissions and positively related to refraining from flying and the support of decarbonised mobility policies. Accounting for both showed that sufficiency orientation in particular was related to fewer flight-related CO 2 emissions and refraining from flying. Furthermore, we examined people’s travel experiences. While global identity was unrelated to the frequency and duration of international travelling, it was positively related to the frequency and quality of contact with local people met on journeys. An experimental variation of whether participants first answered questions on global identity or on travel experiences revealed that remembering past international travelling led to higher reported levels of global identity. Taken together, global identity seems to profit from in-depth international contact with people, but can be decoupled from resource-intensive travel behaviour. Globally identified and sufficiency-oriented people may support a socio-ecological transformation. Our results indicate a compatibility of global identity and sufficiency orientation. Experimental and longitudinal research should examine causal links to foster our understanding of the conditions under which both can be strengthened.
... Therefore, researchers have started to focus on a variety of possible attraction points to better understand the 'home-based other' trips and improve the modeling of travel behavior. Recently in literature, there are studies explored trip behavior purposes such as shopping (Gonzalez-Feliu and Peris-Pla, 2017), leisure (De Vos, 2019; Gössling et al., 2017;Snehal, 2019), and social and recreational (Tarabay and Abou-Zeid, 2019;Witten and Mavoa, 2011;Yang et al., 2020). ...
Increasing urban population and traffic density on one side and rising hospital demands on the other has underlined the importance of transportation modeling. In this study, Four-Step Transportation Model (FSTM), which focuses primarily on home-based work and school trips, is used to evaluate the increasing share of home-based hospital trips among all from a transportation planning perspective. The aims of this study are to 1) examine the hospital trip behaviors and the parameters affecting it within the framework of ‘home-based hospital trips’, 2) evaluate the effectiveness of different robust and biased estimation techniques to be used which could be an alternative to Ordinary Least Square (OLS) in FSTM. OLS, Ridge Regression (RR), Least Trimmed Squares (LTS), and Least Trimmed Squares-Ridge (LTS-Ridge) techniques were used for the comprehensive evaluation of home-based hospital trip production models for the Eskişehir City. In this context, the five characteristics affecting hospital trips were used as independent variables. Approximately 20000 valid household survey data (HSD) for 2001 (Training data) and 29000 valid HSD for 2015 (Testing data) were used and results were evaluated in terms of Mean Squared Error (MSE). As a result of the analysis, the MSE values of LTS-Ridge, LTS, RR, and OLS models are 127484, 169060, 274211, 434164, respectively. The most consistent and successful results were obtained from LTS-Ridge according to MSE and direction of the coefficients. Hospital demand coefficient proposed in this study increased the success of future estimations. When data have multicollinearity or contain outliers, LTS-Ridge makes more successful predictions than OLS. This study fills a large gap in the literature by examining the home-based hospital trips in terms of socio-economic and demographic characteristics from a transportation planning perspective.
... Another strand of the literature examines flying behaviour in general, independently of the amount of CO 2 emissions caused. Examples of this include the behaviour of (a) the urban population in Iceland (Czepkiewicz et al. 2020), (b) international celebrities (Gössling 2019), (c) German holiday makers (Gössling et al. 2017) and (d) Swiss inhabitants and distances of their flights (Schubert et al. 2020). Dargay and Clark (2012) explore the determinants of travel for five different purposes (business, commuting, leisure, holidays and visits from friends and relatives), but without accounting for the emissions generated. ...
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This study estimates factors of importance for the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions generated by travellers flying for different reasons based on representative Austrian micro data for the period 2014–2016. The annual average number of flights taken by adults vary between 0.1 (visiting friends) and 0.8 (going on holiday), and the amount of CO2e emissions generated by each return flight is approximately 1100 kg. This leads to a total of 6 million tonnes CO2e emissions per year. Results of the Pseudo Poisson Maximum Likelihood estimations reveal that the amount of CO2e emissions created is related to socio-demographic, locational and seasonal factors, although mainly for the largest group of travellers: the holiday makers. In this group, individuals with university degrees, young persons (16–24 years) and capital city residents generate the largest amounts of emissions, as opposed to persons with children and large households. Residents of the capital region each quarter cause 64 kg more CO2e emissions than inhabitants of rural areas, persons with university degrees create 74 kg larger emissions than those without degrees and young adults instigate 90 kg more emissions than middle-aged persons. CO2e emissions of holiday flights are highest in the first quarter of the year. The importance of education is also pronounced for CO2e emissions related to business travel, as is gender.
... As the aviation industry grew with more operators and investments into the sector, the cost of air transportation reduced due to the competition and increased operational efficiency (Ayra et al., 2014). Currently, 22% of global carbon dioxide emission comes from transportation (Hombach et al., 2018) while about 10.6% of global greenhouse gas generation is ascribed to air transportation (Gössling et al., 2017) and this portend a growing threat to the environment. ...
Full-text available
Operational and commercial efficiency at a jet fuel depot are vital indices for a jet fuel marketer toward ensuring maximum business productivity. In Nigeria, jet A-1 aviation fuel scarcity is a yearly challenge that periodically triggers jet fuel price increase, air fare price hike and flight cancellation. The causes of the scarcity have been ascribed to the challenges facing jet fuel supply process. In this study, the significance of each of the seven jet fuel depots of a fuel marketer to the overall business performance is analysed using structural equation modelling to evaluate the historical sales and stock data. Historical stock data contain hidden patterns and knowledge that can be acquired and applied in operational decision-making processes. The effect of each depot on business performance is classified using the significance and path coefficient result obtained from the partial least squares model implemented on historical stock data. The analysis reveals the significance of adequate stock level via supply chain management, and this creates an opportunity for directing management policies and decisions at less significant depots based on the data-mined knowledge acquired. An overall model R2 value of 0.902 was achieved. This study emphasizes the relevance of quality data even in the aviation fuel industry.
... However, it should be emphasised that tourism segments which are considered to have particularly harmful effects on the environment (air travel, cruises) are growing at an above-average rate in Germany (Gössling et al. 2017;Frick et al. 2014). ...
The present study develops a methodology to assess transportation-related CO2 emissions of European city tourism. In doing so, not only is travel distance considered, but also the chosen transportation modes and the particularities of the different cities’ source markets. The major contribution of this study is the implementation of this learning methodology into a decision support system for destination management organizations of cities. Based on a sample from 2018 of 48 European cities with at least 40 source markets, the range of aggregate transportation-related CO2 emissions of European city tourism is estimated. Moreover, a longitudinal analysis of the exemplary city of Vienna covering the period of 1990 to 2018 is carried out. Finally, some policy recommendations of how destination management organizations can contribute to make the estimated transportation-related CO2 emissions even more precise and on how to make European city tourism more environmentally sustainable are drawn.
Sustainability, digitalization, demographic change, and health are some of the most important megatrends in the tourism sector. The contributions in this chapter, therefore, focus on their relevance in the context of luxury travel. Four authors have their say, based on their many years of practical experience in the various fields, who can give a profound account of the specific characteristics of these megatrends and why they are relevant. Stefan Gössling concisely describes from a human ecological perspective whether luxury tourism is compatible with the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems. Marc Aeberhard discusses in his contribution whether the immaterial part of the phenomenon of luxury is compatible with the demands for more and more digitalization. Jörg Meurer vividly demonstrates how demographic change is creating new target groups for luxury and premium brands and how these target groups are gaining a completely new and exciting relevance. Finally, Mario Krause places the aspect of health as an immaterial factor in relation to luxury (and travel), setting an important accent as a counterpoint to the ubiquitous phenomenon of wellness.
Research Proposal
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Es wird untersucht, welchen Einfluss die Digitalisierung auf die nachhaltige Tourismusentwick-lung in der ökologischen und sozialen Dimension haben kann. Dazu werden im ersten Schritt aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Digitalisierung systematisch identifiziert und auf ihren aktuellen und zukünftigen Beitrag zu einer nachhaltigen Tourismusentwicklung hin untersucht. Es wird sowohl die Digitalisierung auf Seiten der Nachfrager (Touristen) als auch der Anbieter berück-sichtigt – mit dem Schwerpunkt auf Big Data-Analysen. Im Fokus steht die Nutzung digitaler Anwendungen während der Reise. Die Reisevor- und -nachbereitung steht nicht im Fokus. Im zweiten Schritt werden die aus der Analyse erwachsenden Chancen und Risiken identifiziert und bewertet. Eine besondere Berücksichtigung finden dabei die Verhaltensweisen unterschied-licher Nutzergruppen mit den Einflüssen auf Ressourcennutzung, Umwelt und Klima. Es sollen sowohl mögliche Umweltbelastungen durch die Digitalisierung als auch Chancen für Klima-, Ressourcen- und Umweltschutz sowie soziale Nachhaltigkeitsaspekte (z. B. Vermeidung von Overtourism) analysiert werden.
This paper describes the creation of a database providing estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) footprints for 6 million US households over the period 2008-2012. The database allows analysis of footprints for 52 types of consumption (e.g. electricity, gasoline, apparel, beef, air travel, etc.) within and across geographic regions as small as individual census tracts. Potential research applications with respect to carbon pricing and tax policy are discussed. Preliminary analysis reveals:- The top 10% of US polluters are responsible for 25% of the country’s GHG footprint. The least-polluting 40% of the population accounts for only 20% of the total. The average GHG footprint of individuals in the top 2% of the income distribution is more than four times that of those in the bottom quintile.- The highest GHG footprints are found in America’s suburbs, where relatively inefficient housing and transport converge with higher incomes. Rural areas exhibit moderate GHG footprints. High-density urban areas generally exhibit the lowest GHG footprints, but location-specific results are highly dependent on income.- Residents of Republican-held congressional districts have slightly higher average GHG footprints than those in Democratic districts – but the difference is small (21.8 tCO2e/person/year in Republican districts; 20.6 in Democratic). There is little relationship between the strength of a district’s party affiliation and average GHG footprint.
Hall, C.M. 2005, Tourism: Rethinking the Social Science of Mobility, Prentice-Hall, Harlow. 448pp, ISBN 058232789X (Pbk) - 2009, El Turismo como ciencia social de la movilidad, Editorial Sintesis, Madrid (Spanish edition). 421pp, ISBN: 978-84-975662-0-9 For a copy of this book please order via a library or purchase online
Although random routes are an important face-to-face sampling method, there is very little research about the procedure. The idea that random route sampling leads to a uniform selection of households has never been tested. This study challenges this notion in a simulation and uses registration office data to verify the impact of selection errors on survey results. All tested routes strongly violate the equal probability assumption and lead to biased expected values in multiple variables. The strongest errors were found in variables that were related to the spatial location of households. Furthermore, errors were related not only to random route instructions but also to the selection of starting points for these routes. This study is of relevance for scientists using random route data for their research as well as for surveys applying random route procedures. Data analysts can use the results to gain an impression about the degree of bias, whereas researchers that use random route samples should view these findings as inducement to improve the random route methodology and develop alternatives.
Plan aims to decrease carbon dioxide produced by new aeroplanes.
Subsidies are pervasive throughout OECD countries and much of this support is potentially harmful environmentally. This report presents sectoral analyses on agriculture, fisheries, water, energy and transport, proposing a checklist approach to identifying and assessing environmentally harmful subsidies. It also identifies the key tensions and conflicts that are likely to influence subsidy policy making. The book concludes with a discussion of politically feasible subsidy reform strategies.
Since 2005, the carbon market has grown to a value of nearly $100 billion per annum. This book examines all the main legal and policy issues which are raised by emissions trading and carbon finance. It covers not only the Kyoto Flexibility Mechanisms but also the regional emission trading scheme in the EU and emerging schemes in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention are in the process of negotiating a successor regime to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol whose first commitment period ends in 2012. As scientists predict that the threat of dangerous climate change requires much more radical mitigation actions, the negotiations aim for a more comprehensive and wide ranging agreement which includes new players - such as the US - as well as taking account of new sources (such as aircraft emissions) and new mechanisms such as the creation of incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
What did you expect? Lessons from the French bonus/malus Ex post evaluations are crucial to measure the empirical effects of public policies. At the same time, one can wonder how much of these effects could be anticipated ex ante. We address this question for the bonus/malus policy introduced in France to reduce Co 2 emissions. This policy was, in particular, supposed to be financially neutral. At the end of the day, the Co 2 emissions have been reduced by 5% at a cost of 225 M€. Using a structural approach, we show that this cost was not predictable ex ante. The underlying reason is that consumers appear to react more to this policy than to standard changes in prices. Classification JEL : D12, H23, L62, Q58, C51