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  • Writer's pictureRichard Hammond

Valencia measures carbon footprint of tourism

The Spanish city of Valencia is measuring the carbon footprint generated by tourism as part of a new Sustainable Tourist Strategy 2030.

Visit Valencia has already carried out a study with Global Omnium that measured the sources of carbon emissions produced by tourism activity in ten different areas, including public and private infrastructure; water management; solid waste; transport to and within the city; tourists, day visitors and cruise passengers; and accommodation.

The research found that "all tourism activity produced 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019, of which 81% related to tourists’ transport to the city but only 0.92% to the use of transport within the city". Just 0.01% of the tourism footprint came from water consumption and emissions from all tourist activity are equivalent to one third of the carbon footprint generated by residents’ food consumption. The report findings have been certified by the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR).

Visit Valencia says it has become "the first in the world to verify its carbon emissions from tourist activity", the first step in a commitment to become a carbon-neutral destination by 2025.

Valencia already has two million square metres of gardens, notably the Turia Gardens and the Viveros, which act as the green lungs of the city absorbing carbon emissions; as well as 20 kilometres of European Blue Flag status beaches. Travellers are also able to explore the city on 150 kilometres of cycle paths and 40 ciclocalles (cycle-priority streets). In addition, the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences provides an eye-opening insight into what is capable at the cutting-edge of new technology and innovation.

Visit Valencia’s strategy is examining the potential for energy generation using renewable sources, the possibility of having a fully electric transport system given its flat orography and maximising natural spaces such as the Turia Gardens or La Albufera in absorbing CO2.

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