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CO2 Emissions from Tourism Quintupled in 20 Years

Carbon dioxide emissions from the tourism industry have increased more than fivefold since 1995 and tripled since 2012. The data comes from the Air Emission Account (AEA) for the Icelandic economy. RÚVreported first.

Carbon dioxide emissions generated by the Icelandic tourism industry surpassed those made by the metal industry in 2016, making it the sector with the highest emissions in the Icelandic economy.

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Emissions from the tourism industry can be attributed mostly to airline operations. Icelandic airlines have greatly expanded their operations over the past six years. In the AEA, no distinction is made between domestic and foreign operations of Icelandic airlines or between services rendered to international tourists and residents of Iceland.

Emissions in Icelandic households, on the other hand, peaked in 2007 at 1.96 tonnes CO2 per capita. The have since decreased to 1.7 tonnes per capita in 2016, an amount comparable to driving a mid-size car 8,000km.

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Emissions from the Icelandic economy have doubled since 1996 overall.

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