A study by the University of La Laguna in Tenerife estimates that carbon emissions from tourist flights amount to 54% of the emissions already caused by the Canary Islands.
The researchers say that flights to and from the Canaries emit an average of 6.41 million tonnes of CO2 annually, 2-3% of the total of Spain’s air sector.
The last estimate for total CO2 emissions produced by the Canary Islands, in 2017, was 11.8 million tonnes, and this figure did not include air travel.
The study calculates that each tourist from Britain or Germany will contribute 470 kilos of CO2 with each return flight,. In the case of a British tourist, this amounts to more than 8% of their annual average carbon footprint.
The study arises at a time when the Canaries are campaigning for tourist flights to be excluded from a proposed EU tax on flight emissions. The proposed tax already excludes inter-island flights and flights to the Spanish mainland, but not flights from other countries.
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