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Responsible Tourism by Harold Goodwin
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Glossary

May 4, 2020
Harold Goodwin
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Biofuels: produced from organic material – biomass – including plant materials, animal waste and human waste from sewage plants.

Blue hydrogen: made from natural gas with the carbon emissions buried underground, further advanced than Green Hydrogen it has a transitional role in the decarbonisation strategy.

Carbon Neutral: means that while some emissions are still being generated by a building/process these emissions are being offset somewhere else making the overall net emissions zero. Often used with no evidence either of carbon reduction or of the efficacy of the carbon offsets. No net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, especially as a result of carbon offsetting. Carbon Neutral Certification is available: PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality and builds on the existing PAS 2050 environmental standard. It sets out requirements for quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Carbon Offsetting: buying a permit to continue to pollute, often with no effort to reduce. Carbon Offsetting: Too good to be true?

Green Hydrogen: created using renewable energy via electrolysis, the process of sending an electric current through water to split hydrogen atoms from oxygen.

Net Zero Emissions: a declaration of intent to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by a set date,  balancing the amount of emitted greenhouse gases with the equivalent emissions that are either offset or sequestered elsewhere. This may enable business as usual. Rather than being achieved by a rapid reduction in carbon emissions, it may mean offsetting through carbon credits or sequestration through rewilding or carbon capture and storage. This is far from zero-emissions which means no emissions. For example, in September 2020 the 13 airline members of the OneWorld global alliance united behind a common aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, it was made clear that individually, the airlines will employ a range of initiatives and efficiency measures, including investments in sustainable aviation fuels and more fuel-efficient aircraft, reduction of waste and single-use plastics, and through carbon offsetting. As the Carbon Trust has pointed out, net-zero is an ambition in need of a definition.  

Overtourism describes destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area, or the quality of the experience, has deteriorated unacceptably. Overtourism is the opposite of Responsible Tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently.

Responsible Tourism is about "making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit." Responsible Tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable. Responsible Tourism was defined in Cape Town in 2002 alongside the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This definition, in the Cape Town Declaration is now widely accepted. Responsible Tourism is what results when we take responsibility as producers or consumers - it is about what we do and what we achieve.

Sustainable Tourism is an aspiration, used only in the abstract sense. Sustainability is the aim, so vague that it cannot be called an objective. It is very often little more than greenwashing. more

Zero Carbon: means what it says on the tin. No emissions.

© 2020 The Responsible Tourism Partnership 
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