Drought, heavy rains and heat waves impair tourism in Germany – report
Clean Energy Wire
Germany's tourism regions urgently need to adapt as they are impacted by climate change in a multitude of ways that will damage many businesses, said a report commissioned by the German Environment Agency (UBA). "In the mountains, snow reliability is decreasing, at the seaside, coastal protection will become more important," UBA said. Regions with rivers will have to deal with high and low water that impair river cruises and all water sports, it added. “As with climate protection, we mustn't lose any more time when it comes to climate adaptation,” UBA head Dirk Messner stressed. Popular destinations have to adopt strategies and concepts to make them resilient to climate change and make their business models more climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable, he added.
“Tourism is both a cause and a victim of climate change,” said federal environment minister Svenja Schulze, noting that the industry accounts for some 5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide – more than a billion tonnes a year. UBA notes that in addition to climate-damaging emissions from travel, tourism also increases water consumption, the use of land and goods, as well as waste generation and loss of biodiversity. Air travel accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in tourism, car traffic 32 percent and accommodations 21 percent.
Climate change in Germany results in higher temperatures, increased drought and forest fires, less snow and more frequent heavy rain and floods. The report’s proposed adaptation measures range from infrastructure adjustments and changes in product ranges to contingency plans, crisis prevention and crisis communication. The report recommends traveling regionally and by train rather than by car or plane. It also makes the case for green-powered and energy-efficient hotel facilities. The consequences of climate change mean considerable losses in revenue, Schulze added. “Where tourism is the only source of income, it hits people particularly hard.”