Judging by theimpassioned responses we got to our recent post about sustainable travel, this is a hot topic no matter which side of the issue you're on. The questions we asked [about how much extra you'd pay for "green travel"] were hypothetical, but today we came across a real-life example:
How would you feel about a $5-per-head surcharge on all air travelers to the Caribbean region? The money—potentially more than $60 million a year—would go toward helping the region prepare for the inevitable results of climate change, such as coastal flooding, stronger hurricanes, and deterioration of coral reefs.
The proposal came from Ulric Trotz, science advisor to the Caricorn Climate Change Centre in Belize, and was pitched to delegates at the Caribbean Tourism Conference.
I'll kick off the debate by saying that I'd be happy to pay the surcharge. After all, by flying to the Caribbean, I am, like it or not, generating one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions by flying in a plane. The least I can do is offset that damage, even in a small way, by also funding efforts to counter the effects of those greenhouse gases. And compared to a plane ticket to the Caribbean, which would no doubt set me back a couple hundred dollars, $5 is nothing. I spent more than that on a coffee and muffin last time I was in an airport.
POLL: Fees for trees? In an online survey last spring, our readers voted against a proposed "green tax" on flights.