Our Climate Smart Commitment

Rick Steves' Europe Climate Smart Commitment™ Self-Imposed Carbon Tax

We believe that international travel is a powerful way to better understand and contribute to the world we live in. But every international flight emits damaging carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate crisis.

What can we do?

Staying home isn't the answer. It's possible to mitigate this environmental toll by supporting climate-smart initiatives in developing countries, where the need — and the potential for change — is greatest. Each year, Rick Steves' Europe will invest in a portfolio of carefully selected nonprofits that fight climate change through government advocacy and on-the-ground work. Our goal: to pay our fair share of the environmental cost that our travelers incur, and to do so in a way that empowers communities throughout the developing world.

Join Us!

Scientists figure it takes about $30 of investment in environmental initiatives in the developing world to mitigate the carbon emissions created by one round-trip flight between the US and Europe. You can join us in creatively mitigating the carbon caused by your travels by supporting our Climate Smart Commitment with a tax-deductible donation to our fund at the National Philanthropic Trust.

For comments or questions, contact us at [email protected].

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2024 Climate Smart Portfolio

We're happy to present our 2024 portfolio of Climate Smart Commitment grant recipients. By supporting these nonprofit organizations with a "self-imposed carbon tax" totaling $1 million, our goal is to help make our business climate smart by creatively investing in groups that fight climate change through on-the-ground work in the developing world and government advocacy in the US.… Read more


2023 Portfolio Annual Report

In late 2019, Rick Steves’ Europe launched our Climate Smart Commitment — a program designed to pay back the environmental debt created by our travelers flying to Europe to join our bus tours. Our goal: creatively mitigate our carbon footprint by smartly investing a self-imposed carbon tax of $30 per tour member... Read more

Rick's Vision

A round-trip flight to Europe emits roughly as much climate-changing carbon, per passenger, as six months of driving. At Rick Steves' Europe, we take about 30,000 people to Europe each year on our… Read more


Good Global Citizenship: A Note from Our COO

At Rick Steves' Europe, we consider ourselves travel teachers. We are in the business of providing the skills that empower people to have a lifetime of fun, affordable, and culturally… Read more

How and Why

Climate change is a reality. Humans are driving it, and only humans can stop it. In the future, people will look back at our generation and see that there were three kinds of people… Read more