Optimising carbon footprint of international meetings
It is broadly acknowledged that global warming is intimately influenced by the extracted carbon from the earth, and transferred to the atmosphere mainly as carbon dioxide (in addition to other greenhouse gases converted into CO2eq). Considering the anticipated economic, environmental and social impacts of a global temperature increase, a number of political initiatives have been taken since the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1992. Many regulations invite organisations to report their carbon emissions. Some countries even apply tax payment per ton of CO2 emitted. Such policies aim at increasing transparency and encouraging behaviour changes to reduce carbon emissions, and ultimately mitigate the impact of global warming on populations.
People travelling to international meetings is one of many emission sources. Such events are important in many cases, but emissions can be reduced by making an informed choice of the meeting locations. To support this goal, a web interface tool has been developed to estimate carbon emissions. Participant locations are the input parameters; flying distances are calculated and converted into CO2eq considering each individual location as a potential meeting location. The process consists in converting locations into GPS coordinates using geolocation application programming interface, then estimating distances and converting them into CO2eq by using an acknowledged approach developed by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. The output is a graphical representation helping meeting organizers make an informed decision.
This poster will present the principles of calculations, the functionality of the tool and examples illustrating its potential benefits.
Note: Not travelling individually will not prevent the plane from flying. But fewer travellers will eventually mean fewer planes. Behaviour changes of a small group of individuals are usually not enough, however, population behaviour is a sum of individual behaviours, and global changes will come if individuals change first.