Monday, December 7, 2009

Key global climate talks begin in Copenhagen, but........

Almost 100 heads of state have confirmed they will attend the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties, or COP15, which begins Monday in the Danish capital.

The summit is testing the capacity limits of the Bella Center, a sprawling conference building outside the city center where the talks are being held.

More than 34,000 people have applied to attend the meetings -- more than double the number allowed to be in the center at any one time.

Non-government organizations have been told some of their members will have to wait outside, while registration has closed early for journalists after 3,500 applied for access.

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......

Approximately 1200 limos, and 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.