Yet another climate conference?
Carbophobes tell conference goers to tie themselves in knots over a minor trace gas in the atmosphere that’s essential to plants, trees, vegetation etc. It’s climate alarm time again.
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Prior to the global pandemic, climate researchers identified an uncomfortable truth: the very meetings and events meant to support the fight against climate change were themselves causing vast greenhouse gas emissions through international air travel, says Phys.org.
Building on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Otago’s Professor James Higham, of the Department of Tourism, and his Oxford University colleagues Ph.D. student Milan Klöwer, Professor Myles Allen and Associate Professor Debbie Hopkins have identified new measures that may reduce the carbon footprint of conference travel by up to 90%.
The study is published this week in the journal Nature.
“We’ve arrived at a new model that will be required to bring the carbon footprint of international conferences down. The model can apply to small regional conferences as well,” Professor Higham says.
Lead author Milan Klöwer says the model identifies three key areas for action; carefully selecting venues to minimize transport emissions, hosting conferences every second year to instantly cut travel by 50%, and creating hubs so people travel shorter distances to still benefit from networking while linking virtually to other hubs.
Researchers found the sum total of travel associated with attendance at one large academic conference can release as much CO2 as an entire city in a week.
For the American Geophysical Union’s conference held in San Francisco last December, it is estimated the 28,000 delegates traveled 285 million kilometers—almost twice the distance between Earth and the Sun.
Full article here.