5 min read

#2 - This Summer was too hot to travel

#2 - This Summer was too hot to travel

💡 One idea: This Summer was too hot to travel

📈 One data figure: 50 billion US dollars, record profit for Big Oil

One success: Financing Nature, the Green Finance Institute podcast

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💡 This Summer was too hot to travel

The Northern Hemisphere summer holiday season is now over and most of us are back in the office sharing sunset pictures and beach memories. Some of your colleagues might even be rather burnt than tanned as it certainly was a hot one. With covid restrictions being lifted, an Ipsos survey found that 71% of Europeans were planning to travel this summer, a 14% point increase compared to 2021. France, Italy and Spain are still the top three destinations, but for how long?

People will definitely think twice about the destination of their future holidays after a summer like this one. The heatwaves in Europe were more intense and long-lasting this year than ever. Not only is the heat unbearable but tourists also had to cope with wildfire smoke and water shortages. In France alone, 8,000 tourists were evacuated because of gigantic forest wildfires. And just when you think you will take a swim to cool down, you read this: Water park closed as France’s spectacular Gorges du Verdon hit by drought. Articles about how to travel during a heatwave flourished across the net.

Welcome to the French Riviera in the 21st century.

It is important here to bear in mind that these events firstly impact the local people who have no choice but to endure them. There is no reason why they would not soon impact tourism as well.

Although we enjoy sunny weather, this was far too hot for comfort and most tourists in affected regions had to shelter indoors in the air conditioning for the best part of the day. Is this how we want to travel? The sun has become an enemy rather than a friend, and the whole idea of a holiday in the South, whatever that means for you, becomes counterproductive. If you think anything above 40°C (104°F) is unbearable, take a look at this map.

Heat records were broken everywhere in 2022 (The Telegraph) 

Summer in California or on the Mediterranean coast does not seem as appealing as before for everyone. Here are three trends that could shape the future of the tourism sector:

  • Holidaymakers will swap traditionally sought-after hot destinations for milder ones: Scandinavia rather than Spain, Alaska rather than California or New Zealand rather than Bali.
  • They will travel in late Spring or early Autumn to avoid Summer heat waves and their consequences.
  • They will travel closer or simply stay at home where it is easier to handle the heat. Have you heard of the concept of staycation?
10 Cool Destinations for When You Just Can’t Take the Summer Heat
Summer is heating up, but not everyone is so eager to head to the beach.

As the global warming reality is more tangible every year, travelling habits will evolve and the tourism industry already has to adapt.

📈 50 billion US dollars, record profit for Big Oil

At the height of a global heat wave, soaring inflation and war in Europe, major Western oil and gas companies reported record profits in the second quarter: 50 billion US dollars. For purposes of comparison, this amount represents 10 % of the yearly need to finance a green energy transition according to this Bloomberg study. As the sector is often put on the spot, the press and social media were full of furious and accusing declarations from politicians, trade union leaders and climate activists.

Big Oil profits (Bloomberg data)

These profits are driving up market prices, much to the happiness of shareholders. Below are the variations of the share value from the 1st of January 2022 to today (August 2022).

  • Exxon Mobil: + 53 %
  • Shell: + 37 %
  • Chevron: + 33 %
  • Total Energies: + 18 %
  • BP: + 36 %

In contrast, consumers are facing high fuel prices and struggling with energy bills. Soaring energy prices are pushing up delivery costs, which is then driving up the cost of basically everything. While inflation is skyrocketing, oil and gas profits are logically becoming a political flashpoint and world leaders are pushed to take action.

“We’re going to make sure everybody knows Exxon’s profits, (...) they made more money than God this year”, Joe Biden said in June.

This said, it was not widely acknowledged that, in spite of every collective effort to mitigate climate change, emitting CO2 into the atmosphere is still a very profitable business in 2022. How these profits will help finance the much-needed ecological transition is a question yet to be answered.

✨ Financing Nature, the Green Finance Institute podcast

Since I discovered this podcast, my 45-minute commute has become more productive and pleasant than ever before.

The Green Finance Institute (GFI) is a coalition of experts established in 2019. Backed by the UK Government, it sits "at the nexus of the public and private sectors". It aims at identifying and promoting efficient and innovative solutions to channel private capital into impactful investments to benefit our environment and society.

I was lucky enough to have a call with Helen Avery a few months ago. She is the passionate Director of Nature Programmes at GFI and hosts the Financing Nature podcast.

Every week, Helen receives a new business leader and interviews them about their experiences. For twenty to forty minutes, you get invaluable first-hand insights into their everyday challenges and current or future projects. Among other bright and inspiring professionals, she notably had:

The podcast is slightly UK-orientated but, to be fair, the UK is also ahead of the pack in the nature-based investments sector. I highly recommend it, go listen here: Financing Nature podcast.

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