Copenhagen climate change summit to produce as much CO2 as an African country

Environment Editor
The Daily Mail [UK]
06 December 2009

It is being hyped as the summit that will save the planet.

But according to critics, next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen are more likely to cost the earth.

Researchers have estimated that the bill for the 12-day jamboree will top £130million – and will generate as much greenhouse gas as an entire Africa country.


More than 15,000 delegates and 45,000 green activists are due to descend on the Danish capital over the next two weeks in a meeting described this week by British economist Lord Stern as ‘the most important since the Second World War’.

They will be joined by at least 5,000 journalists – including 35 from the BBC alone – and 100 world leaders, including Gordon Brown and Barack Obama.

The United Nations conference set targets for cutting global greenhouse gas emissions from farming, industry and transport in a bid to prevent dangerous global warming.

The aim is to keep the rise in world temperatures to within 2C by the end of the century.

Climate scientists believe a 40 per cent cut on 1990 levels of emissions is needed by 2020 – rising to an 80 per cent cut by 2050.

At the same time, Western nations will be asked to pay into a fund worth around £100billion a year to help developing countries protect themselves against rising sea levels, droughts and floods, and build their own wind turbines, clean power plants and arrays of solar panels.
There will also be talks on how to protect the world’s rain forests from destruction.

Supporters say the conference costs are a drop in the ocean compared to the benefits of preventing dangerous climate change.

But many climate change believers and sceptics say the talks could do more harm than good.

This week Nasa scientist Dr Jim Hansen – who has argued the case for climate change since the 1980s – says any deal that emerges from the talks will be so flawed, it would be better if the talks end in collapse.

President Obama and Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen have conceded that the conference will not produce a legally binding treaty.

The UN has confirmed that the flights, rail, bus, food and energy from the conference will generate at least 41,000 tons of carbon dioxide. That’s more greenhouse gas than produced by Malawi, Afghanistan or Sierra Leone over the same period.

The Danish Government says it will offset any emissions created by the talks by planting trees or investing in green projects that will reduce carbon emissions elsewhere.

According to an analysis by the Taxpayer’s Alliance, a conservative cost of Copenhagen is £130million.

It includes £6.3million on flights, £20million on hotels and £3.3million on food.

The figure also includes the salaries for delegates and the contribution from the Danish government of £37 million. Most of the money will come from taxpayers.

Read the rest here.

[CAJ note to American readers: multiply the pounds Sterling (£) by $1.65 US. That should give readers an estimate of the costs in this article.]

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