The report has noted that Goa and its surrounding region has witnessed warming trends much faster than the rest of the country.(REUTERS photo)
The report has noted that Goa and its surrounding region has witnessed warming trends much faster than the rest of the country.(REUTERS photo)

Impose green tax on tourism in Goa to fund climate change fight: Expert panel

The report cites a UNDP report to say that even a one-metre rise in the sea level is estimated to affect 7% of Goa’s population and cause damage to the tune of Rs 8,100 crore.
By Gerard de Souza | Edited by Abhinav Sahay | Hindustan Times, Panaji
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 09:17 AM IST

The Goa government should consider imposing a green tax on tourism on the lines of taxes being imposed in countries like the Maldives and Spain, to help fund climate change mitigation measures, Goa’s Action Plan for Climate Change has recommended.

The draft document that has been put together by the Goa State Biodiversity Board forecasts that Goa could lose as much as 7% of its area to rise of only one metre in the sea level, causing damage to the tune of Rs 8,100 crore.

“Tourism is a major industrial sector in Goa. Every year, tourists visiting Goa are almost four to five times the population of the state. Eco-tax or Green tax to combat climate change is proposed to assist in mitigation and adaptation activities of the areas which are most frequently visited by tourists. Such taxation models are under implementation in countries like Spain,” the document has noted.

“The system can be developed based on the tourist’s standard of accommodation. As a next step, the institutional structure would need to be established to develop a functional model for taxation and its appropriate utilisation,” the report has said, suggesting that an appropriate mechanism, time frame and other modalities need to be worked out by the tourism department.

The report, quoting United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projections, has said that Goa stands to lose a large percentage of its land area, including many of its famous beaches and tourist infrastructure, which are very significant to states’ socio-economic status.

“A one-metre rise in sea level, it is estimated, will affect 7 percent of Goa’s population and cause damage to the tune of Rs 8,100 crore,” the report said, adding that it was essential to understand the vulnerability of different parts of the 105km long coastline of Goa.

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The report has noted that Goa and its surrounding region has witnessed warming trends much faster than the rest of the country, having already witnessed a 1°C rise in mean temperature over the period 1901-2018, with the warming accelerating after the 1970s. It also shows that the mean annual rainfall in Goa has increased by about 68% over the last century.

Climate change projections in Goa in the 21st century, based on high resolution regional climate models (RCPs), have indicated that for a projected atmospheric CO2 concentration of up to 940ppm by 2100, Goa’s temperature will rise by 4.5°C compared to the base of 1901-1950; while in the less threatening scenario of atmospheric CO2 concentration of 538 ppm by 2100, Goa will witness a mean temperature rise of about 2.5°C compared to 1901-1950 base.

The draft climate change action policy has been kept open for suggestions from the public for a period of ten days before it is finalised.

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