12 December 2007 Joining global efforts to become climate neutral, the United Nations announced today that it will offset the carbon emissions – estimated at around 3,370 tons of carbon dioxide – resulting from its members’ travel to and from the historic UN Climate Change Conference under way in Bali, Indonesia.
The greenhouse gas emissions arising from the travel of staff from nearly two dozen UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his team, are estimated to be worth approximately $100,000 at current carbon prices.
The UN bodies will invest in credits accumulating in the Kyoto Protocol’s Adaptation Fund, which aims to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries.
“Offsetting emissions by supporting the soon-to-be operation adaptation fund sends a clear signal that climate proofing vulnerable economies has – like the UN’s action climate change generally – risen to the top of the organization’s agenda in 2007,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
“Under the leadership of Ban Ki-moon, the entire UN system has now pledged to work towards climate neutrality, not just in Bali but across offices and operations globally and forever,” he added.
Mr. Steiner lauded the news that like UNEP, several countries, which are “prepared to go that extra mile,” have pledged to become climate neutral.
“And it is not just countries but a growing and widening group of companies, cities and individual citizens who are also looking to their carbon footprints with a view to working towards climate neutrality,” he said.