COP26: Glasgow event has carbon footprint double that of COP25

The projected emission for COP26 are almost double that of the most recent event in Madrid

COP26 is on course to emit 102,500 tonnes of CO2e, revealed The Scotsman.

This is almost twice that of the most recent event which was held in Madrid. Emissions for the event in Spain had a carbon footprint of 51,101 tCO2e

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In fact, the amount of emissions generated by aviation emissions for COP26 dwarf those of the most recent event, with about 61,500 tCO2e being generated by international travel to and from the event alone. Approximately 118 private jet ferried delegates into Edinburgh and Glasgow airport for the event.

The figures are found in a report produced for the UK Government by Arup the Government’s COP26 sustainability consultant.

According to the seven-page document the emissions include; business travel during pre-event planning; energy, waste, and water use in the accommodation for all blue zone attendees; and operational emissions from emergency service vehicles.

Arup stated that the figures represented “the best working assessment of the emissions from the event.”

‘Lack of equity in talks about aviation emissions’

Dr Doug Parr, the chief scientist for Greenpeace UK, told The Scotsman that the fact that international travel was chiefly responsible for emissions at a conference where no “meaningful agreement” had been met on aviation emissions meant there was a “lack of equity” in talks at the conference.

While Dr Parr insisted that the event was “not supposed to be a demonstration of sustainable lifestyles” he believes “the failure to reach any meaningful agreement about limiting aviation’s vast carbon emissions... really highlights the lack of equity in these talks.

He added: “creating loopholes for the use of the rich not only maintains their disproportionately high emissions, but makes it so much harder to persuade anyone else to cut.

“At this COP, the final decision must commit to phase out fossil fuels, which means reducing demand for those fuels from high-carbon industries like aviation.”

The UK government has previously stated that COP26 will be carbon neutral.

They told The Scotsman that the increased emissions are partially due to the size of the event.

A spokesperson for the UK government said: “As official UNFCCC figures show, COP26 is a substantially bigger event than other recent COPs, with over 39,000 participants as against nearly 27,000 at COP25.

“As part of its analysis, the Government has for the first time included both the full Blue and Green Zone impacts, giving a fuller and more accurate picture of emissions from the site.”