Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UN climate circus rolls in on CO2 cloud

I am (almost) speechless.
From the Times of London:

...Calculations suggest flying the 15,000 politicians, civil servants, green campaigners and television crews into Indonesia will generate the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of extra CO2. That is similar to the entire annual emissions of the African state of Chad.

...Attendees are expected to include celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, and Al Gore, the former US vice-president.

Many are merely “observers” who have no formal role to play in the talks, which largely involve government ministers and officials. Among these observers are 20 MEPs and 18 assistants whose itinerary includes a daytrip to the idyllic fishing and surfing village of Serangan.

The UN has also recently received thousands of new registrations from groups campaigning for the environment or fighting against poverty. WWF, one of the largest, is sending more than 32 staff to the meeting.

Thousands more are coming from businesses, especially the burgeoning carbon trading sector, which already carries out global transactions worth £12 billion a year and has an acute interest in the outcome of Bali.

...Three ministers — Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, Phil Woolas, junior environment minister, and Gareth Thomas, junior minister for international development — will attend accompanied by about 40 civil servants.

Woolas, however, is still embarrassed by the increasing scale and opulence of such gatherings. “It’s like a circus,” he said. “It’s not just Bali. There are now more than 500 environmental treaties and conventions taking place around the world. It’s a morass of Byzantine proportions. The UN oversees world governance on these issues and we urgently need to streamline it.”

Three ministers in the British delegation are staying in £330-a-night suites at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua hotel, each with their own bedroom, living room and dining room. Such apparent luxury is justified, say aides, by their need for somewhere to hold private meetings.

One of the biggest delegations is being assembled by the European Union, which is expected to send Stavros Dimas, the environment commissioner, and 90 officials. In addition, all 27 EU countries are expected to send separate national delegations. Germany has one of the biggest, with around 70, and France follows close behind with 50. Even Latvia will be represented by four delegates, while Malta, an island populated by 400,000, will have two....MORE

As they say in the blogosphere,