Copenhagen Climate Conference to Create 'Huge' Carbon Footprint
Thursday, December 03, 2009
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Talk about your global warming . . . When an estimated 16,500 delegates, activists and reporters descend upon Copenhagen Monday for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, a lot of hot air will follow.
The U.N. estimates the 12-day conference will create 40,584 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, roughly the same amount as the carbon emissions of Morocco in 2006.
Those greenhouse gas emissions are comprised of two parts: international travel and local emissions from hotels and transportation venues. Organizers will also reportedly lay 900 kilometers of computer cable and 50,000 square miles of carpet, along with more than 200,000 meals to be served and 200,000 cups of coffee.
The conference will leave an enormous carbon footprint, says Patrick Michaels, senior fellow for environmental studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.
“It will be huge,” Michaels said of the environmental toll. “Where is video conferencing when we need it? An equally important question is what will be accomplished here?”
Approximately 140 aircraft carrying world leaders, heads of state and VIPs will land in Copenhagen, the U.N. estimates — although 95 percent of departures from Copenhagen Airport will be “green departures,” which allow airplanes to climb continuously to their optimal operating level, enabling them to reach planned routes sooner than usual. The result, according to the U.N., is saved time, fuel and carbon emissions.