Using new technologies to reduce the impact of CO2 emissions while attending international conferences
Now that the Climate Change Conference is taking place in Paris with one of its main goals the CO2 reduction, then I wonder if attending to this international conference could be optimized in order to reduce the CO2 emitted just for attending this conference.
I am not expert in CO2 calculation but with support from different sources in internet I found that for an intercontinental flight of approx. 15.000 km (total roundtrip) which transports 10 passengers, including aircraft and presidential companion, then just for arriving and leaving the conference, we are talking of around 35 tons of CO2 per intercontinental flight. If 150 representatives from different countries are travelling from around the world to the conference, we are talking about the emission of around 5000 tons
of CO2 just for attending the conference, leaving still out of the calculation the flights from the representatives of other stakeholders (like companies, NGOs, civil society…). Then just to give us an idea of the magnitude of the impact of these conferences, 5000 tons of CO2 refer to the energy use of a small town of 385 houses in one year.
Of course, the contact with the counterparts on these negotiations is important, but if the aim of the conference is reducing CO2 emission, and if digital and new media technologies are so advanced, wouldn’t it be possible to make these negotiations through a virtual platform, like a second life, which allows as much as possible the representation of a real world, with the big advantage of leaving out of the calculation the high negative impact caused by flying? Virtual reality has been successfully used in trainings, like for emergency units or police. Also companies are helding their international business meetings online in order to save money and time.
In education: http://slbestpractices2007.wikispaces.com/