The Israeli delegation to COP26 can cause more than 40 kg of CO2 emissions per day

The 120-person delegation from Israel to the UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow will not stay in the city where the event will take place, but in Edinburgh, more than 50 miles away. .

While most of the delegation will make the more than 50-mile journey on private buses in each direction, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and a few select advisers will travel by car instead.

Before the conference, the Scottish government urged foreign delegations to use rail transport as it is cleaner and more efficient than road trips.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average non-electric car produces 404 grams of CO2 per mile, meaning that every time the Israeli prime minister arrives and leaves the Glasgow conference for Edinburgh, his vehicle will emit an estimated 20 kg of CO2.

In contrast, a complete bus will produce approximately 3 kg of CO2 emissions for a trip of the same distance.

Oxfam activists with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Big Heads’ and US President Joe Biden perform in a traditional Scottish bagpipe band as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, Great Britain, November 1, 2021. (Credit: REUTERS / LEE SMITH)

While some world leaders, according to Reuters, came to the electric car conference in order to present a more environmentally friendly image to the world, there is no indication that Bennett was one of those who chose to travel using this method.

The Israeli delegation will not be the only one burning fuel to discuss the urgent issue of non-renewable energy. Of the 25,000 delegates attending the conference, at least 5,000 will be staying in Edinburgh.

However, road trips may be the least of a problem for climate-conscious citizens. With leaders from more than 100 countries attending the conference, the carbon footprint will be undeniably large.

TO Financial times The article found that in the last three UN climate conferences, long-distance travel accounted for 85% of total conference emissions.

Local transport, such as trips from Edinburgh to Glasgow, averaged 616 tonnes of CO2 during COP23, COP24 and COP25, and the trend is likely to continue with COP26.

Of the seven airports used by various diplomats and business executives arriving in the UK, two exclusively serve private jets, raising questions and puzzling climate activists. Private jets have been found to be responsible for 50% of aviation emissions worldwide. Among the leaders who enter the country in private jets is the President of the United States, Joe Biden, on Air Force One.

While Prime Minister Bennett’s Wings of Zion plane remained grounded in Israel, he chose instead to lease an El-Al plane exclusively for his delegation. The Boeing 737-900 that was used has a capacity for 188 people.

In total, 400 private jets will fly to the UK for COP26, some belonging to politicians but most to corporate executives. They will emit a total of 13,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Briton Boris Johnson also made the trip to Glasgow by private jet, despite strong criticism he faced for traveling by private jet to Cornwall for the G7 Summit earlier this year, although it would have been possible to undertake the journey in a car. electric. without even having to stop and reload.

Commenting on the use of private jets by COP26 attendees, Matt Finch from the UK Transport and Environment campaign group said: “The average private jet emits two tonnes of CO2 for every hour of flight. It cannot be emphasized enough how bad private jets are for the environment, it is the worst way to travel for miles. Our research has found that most trips could easily be completed on scheduled flights. “

Breaking down the exact consequences of private flights, he explained that “the total carbon footprint of an ordinary citizen – including all the places he travels and everything he consumes – is around eight tons a year.

“Therefore, an executive or politician who takes a long-haul private flight will burn more CO2 than many normal people in a year.”

After flights, the second largest cause of carbon emissions for COP26 will be accommodation, as it typically accounts for about half of the national total. Old buildings in the UK have low energy efficiency ratings, and it is not wrong to assume that more than a few delegates from around the world will be staying in these buildings, and the conference itself will take place in several of these locations. While the UK has committed to using alternative green heating methods instead of diesel generators, the total emissions will remain significant.

Climate activists have commented on the perceived hypocrisy of world leaders, protesting in front of airports and the conference venue to highlight double standards.

Daniel Willis, Global Justice Now climate activist, said: “Boris Johnson claims to be a climate leader, but he only seems interested in a COP26 that protects the interests of the wealthiest. It is blatantly pandering to the rich and will only lead to an exclusive and one-sided COP. “

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