The Carbon Footprint of Cop21

The Carbon Footprint of Cop21

Will the carbon footprint of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (Cop21) be calculated?

The Unfccc secretariat has increasingly made such estimates over recent years for each conference and with increasing precision. We have not yet estimated the carbon footprint of the Cop21 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, but we will in due course.

Please note that calculations only cover delegates and participants actually at the official UN climate conference. This will only cover attendees in Le Bourget for Cop21, which amounts to roughly 22,000 people.

Will the emissions of Cop21 be offset?

The French government is working hard to reduce the emissions from Cop21. An exhaustive Sustainability Strategy Plan has been put in place by the French government with a goal to make the Cop ISO 20121 compliant. Various actions have been taken to reduce Cop 21’s emissions from the source. These include:

– hybrid shuttles between the Rer station at Le Bourget or line 7 (Fort Aubervilliers) and the conference site

– distribution of 20 000 Navigo passes to registered participants

– a gas fired boiler instead of an heating oil boiler (-20% in terms of Co2)

– short distribution channels and local sourcing for catering

– zero waste and 100% reuse

– welcome bags made with recycled clothing

– recycled paper and vegetable-based inks.

Greenhouse gas emissions produced on the conference site that cannot be reduced from the source will be evaluated. A consulting firm, Ecoact, has been selected in January 2015 after a call for tender.

The amount of emissions produced at the Bourget conference site has been provisionally evaluated to be 21,000 tons of Co2 equivalent in September 2015. This estimation covers the 3 phases (assembly starting on 5 October, running the conference and dismantling), the two zones (conference centre and Espaces Générations Climat) and local transport of 40,000 people who are expected to come.

The French government will offset all emissions from travel of registered participants, as well as those from the conference facilities and local operations, through Cers from projects under the clean development mechanism (Cdm). The carbon neutrality of the Cop should be completed by March 2016.

It should also be noted that the Unfccc secretariat will offset all emissions from staff travel. Some delegations also have a policy to offset their climate footprint. For everybody else, it is voluntary.

As a result, the French government intends to increase efforts to actively encourage all participants not covered by offsets by the government or Unfccc secretariat to offset their own emissions.


Source: United Nations Climate Change

Date: November 2015

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