Steves to Charge His Tour Company $1M Carbon Tax

Money will help organizations in developing nations, especially with agriculture
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2019 4:03 PM CDT
Rick Steves to Pay Voluntary $1M Carbon Tax
Rick Steves will donate to organizations around the world working to counter the effects of climate change.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

"It’s hard to travel and not be aware that climate change is real," Rick Steves says. He's also aware that his tour company contributes to that very issue by ferrying 30,000 tourists to Europe each year. So he's decided to assess his company a carbon tax of $1 million per year, Quartz reports. Steves arrived at that figure by multiplying the number of customers by $30, which is the recommended carbon offset credit, then rounding up. A US-Europe round-trip flight adds "roughly as much carbon into our atmosphere as driving a car for six months," the TV host wrote on his site. The company won't raise prices to cover the amount, Steves said.

Steves will donate the money to nonprofits working in developing countries that are the most affected, with an emphasis on agriculture. He this year contributed to sustainable farming, reforestation, and climate education efforts. This way, Steves said, he can help "farmers in the developing world have better lives while employing climate-smart agriculture and forestry techniques." The list of organizations he funds will be revisited each year. It's a better solution, Steves figures, than reducing travel, which he said exposes tourists to other cultures and perspectives. Delta Air Lines bought carbon offsets for its 300,000 passengers on Earth Day this year, per Travel + Leisure. (Read more climate change stories.)

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