Cop28 will have the biggest carbon footprint in the event’s history after UAE invited a record 400,000 people to attend
COP28 will have the largest carbon footprint in the event's history due to the large number of visitors flying in, experts warn.
About 400,000 people are expected to travel to Dubai for the annual UN Climate Change Conference between November 30 and December 12.
This includes 97,000 registered official delegates with access to the secure inner 'Blue Zone' for accredited government officials and businesses.
The number of registered delegates has increased from 49,704 at COP27 last year in Egypt and 38,457 in Scotland in 2021. tripled since 2019.
The Glasgow conference set a record for emissions, emitting around 102,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide – about what 8,000 Britons produce in a year.
But with so many people flocking to the UAE this month, some expect COP28 to build on a worrying new trend.
Richard Black, senior fellow at green think tank Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said The Telegraph: 'Given the number of people expected here, this will likely have the highest carbon footprint yet.'
This includes 97,000 registered official delegates with access to the secure inner 'Blue Zone'. Pictured: World leaders and delegates walk in Dubai's Expo City, December 1
King Charles III (C) speaks with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (R) as they pose for a photo during the United Nations COP28 climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023
A general view of the UNFCCC COP28 climate conference in Expo City Dubai on December 1
The conference, designed to help governments agree on policies to limit and manage environmental impacts, has steadily grown in popularity over the years, attracting government officials, businesses and delegates from far and wide.
When the COP began in the mid-1990s, attendance averaged just 5,000. Bloomberg. This year the entire event is expected to attract 80 times as many visitors.
This applies to the wider Green Zone, open to all, and the inner Blue Zone, protected and reserved for 'officials'.
The outer Green Zone is a space for paying organizations to showcase what they are doing about climate change and meet potential customers. The Green Zones are not officially included in the COP program, but are a regular extension.
The Blue Zone invites countries, territories and their representatives to negotiate agreements and actions on climate change. Each region will have its own pavilion for exhibitions, receptions and presentations, and can receive a number of delegates.
The concern is that the COPs have been expanded to such an extent that the conferences themselves can now contribute to large and unnecessary emissions peaks. In Glasgow, around 60 percent of emissions during the summits were expected to come from international flights.
The conferences also risk increasing their own carbon footprint by finding accommodation for so many delegates over the two-week period, overseeing the event and transporting people to and from the venues.
Climate activists expressed outrage this week when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed he would fly to the summit on his own private plane, while Foreign Secretary David Cameron and King Charles would also fly to the summit on their own.
Downing Street defended the decision after critics warned the move 'sent all the wrong signals' about Britain's commitments to tackle climate change.
Number 10 said it was important for Britain to have a 'strong turnout' at the summit and said the government's position was not 'anti-flying'.
A spokesperson said on Wednesday: 'I think the Government's approach to tackling climate change has been set out repeatedly, it is not about banning or reducing people's ability to fly, it is about investing in new technologies of the future, as evidenced by yesterday's flight using sustainable technologies. jet fuel.
'You would obviously expect that most ministers traveling to Cop would fly commercially. The Prime Minister's plane will use sustainable aviation fuel, which some of you will also be on. And of course we also use CO2 compensation.'
'It is clear that the Prime Minister is using the planes that you are all used to. But as I said, it is consistent with the government's position that we are not against flying. We do not try to limit the audience. And it is important that Britain has a strong presence at Cop28 as we continue to lead the world in tackling climate change.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) walks with world leaders to the World Climate Action Summit in Dubai, during the Cop28 summit. Photo date: Friday December 1, 2023
King Charles III and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak attend the opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit during COP28 on December 1, 2023 in Dubai
Leaders pose during a photo session at the UN climate conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, earlier today
Tory MP Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Climate, will lead the UK delegation to COP28 this year.
Stuart has insisted Britain will focus on “phasing out and phasing out” its “unabated” use of fossil fuels – while insisting there is “nothing fundamentally wrong with oil and gas” in November.
Britain has doubled domestic fossil fuel production in recent weeks, with annual licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration in the North Sea made mandatory last month.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer will make a commercial flight to COP28 this year, where he will meet a “range of leaders” and “beat the drum for Britain”.
The party is faced with a continuation criticism on reported plans to make cuts to the £28 billion 'green prosperity plan'.
The party is at the end of November was accused of being 'in total disarray' after being subsequently forced to deny reports that it had effectively abandoned its flagship plan.
Tory MP Paul Bristow told The Mail last Sunday: 'No wonder Sir Keir is known as Sir Flip Flop.
'First he had a crazy plan to borrow £28 billion a year, then it was watered down, then a plan to pull back even further, and then Labor said it was all fine. They're completely confused.'
Even Labor MPs expressed concern, with one saying: 'It just gives the impression that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.'