Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Durban preparing for the mega carbon footprint event of the year: 8000 hotel rooms missing


Hopefully the huge European Union COP17 delegation already has booked a sufficient number of hotel suites in Durban. If not, they may have to settle for slightly less comfortable accomodation in the Climate Refugee Camp

Preparations for the mega carbon footprint event of the year are in full force. Over 15.000 accredited delegates and thousands of other climate tourists are expected to fly in to the COP 17 conference in Durban in the end of November. According to the estimates by the organizers 50.000 metered taxi trips will be taken and 450.000 meals will be eaten during the 135.000 accommodation “bed nights” expected. Thousands of delegates are exptected to visit tourist attractions.

One of the main "attractions" will most likely be the Climate Refugee Camp, organized by the COP 17 hosts. (Also the "climate refugees" will probably be flying in from a number of far away countries).

This times the organizers are taking the carbon footprint seriously - it will be scientifically calculated:
An experienced team of professionals from ARUP Consulting has been appointed by the eThekwini Municipality to calculate the local carbon footprint of COP 17-CMP 7

(Probably the hosts have already developed a plan for "climate indulgences", using the the CDM, described by an Indian expert as the "Corrupt Development Mechanism".)

The major sources of carbon emissions linked to COP 17-CMP 7 are according to the hosts likely to be transport in and around Durban for those attending the conference and energy use at event venues and in accommodation facilities.

However, the organizers seem to think that they have "solved" the carbon footprint problem :

Sue Bannister, the acting head of the city’s Strategic Projects Unit, told how 600 bicycles would be lent to delegates to get around during the conference.

(There will probably be a fight among the official delegates about who gets a bike! No doubt the EU "embassy" in South Africa already has reserved a couple of the bikes for photo opportunity pictures with Herman van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Connie Hedegaard biking to the conference venue).

One major problem remains, though: 8000 hotel rooms are still needed to cater for accredited delegates.

PS
If the organizers do not succeed in finding the missing hotel rooms, they will probably have to accomodate the 8000 roomless delegates in the Climate Refugee Camp. From a carbon footprint point of view staying in a hut or tent would not be such a bad choice. But it is doubtful whether e.g. EU "President" van Rompuy, EU Commission President Barroso or Climate Commissioner Hedegaard, who are used to suites in 5-star luxury hotels, would find the "alternative" accomodation very appealing.

Thank God, South Africa has excellent coal plants, providing 93% of its electricity, which will make sure  that the the 450.000 meals are going to be served to the dignitaries as well as to the "climate refugees".

1 comment:

chuckhigley said...

I love the carbon footprint mitigation plans and the bicycles, all with GPS and Lojack, no doubt.

It's good to know that so many can get together for a period of mutual mental and physical masturbation. It's good for some people, improving their self-esteem by being able to travel so far, just to feel superior to others and to play with themselves—all on someone else's dime while pretending to be concerned. Party on!