Earth day and Political Pollution: Why politicians need to reduce their carbon footprint

By citiesabc news - Apr 22, 2020
Earth day 2020 - Political Pollution

Earth day 2020: Why politicians need to reduce their carbon footprint when travelling internationally

Carbon footprint is critical more than ever and is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).CO2 is the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide. More important than ever is how we can tackle this as a community and our organisations and special our leaders and political responsible. Once flight restrictions are lifted, notable political figures need to reduce their international travels to meet climate change goals, new research shows.

Incentives are what shape social and political behavior. Even after controlling for institutional factors and macro trends, local policy implementation in countries like China can change over time in potentially predictive ways. Studying the critical case of air pollution control policies, how our countries are dealing with this and special our politicians is critical. For this both global and local leaders cater to the policy prioritization of the center and, in the process, foster systematic regional, national patterns of air quality over time.

Using multiple analysis and researchy and looking at denominations such as remote sensing, box modeling, observational data, and qualitative field research, are critical and special one of the things we need to look is how our global government leaders are dealing with carbon footprint are critical for us.

CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita) source Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, United States.

CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita), source Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, United States.

According to an analysis of 2018 flights of world leaders, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe racked up the most CO² emissions. He produced more than 14,000 tons of CO², followed by U.S. President Donald Trump (11,000 tons) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (11,000 tons). Online travel agent FromAtoB requested data from the 20 biggest economies on Earth in 2018 and received numbers from 15. The ten world leaders producing the most CO² are listed in the chart.

Out of the 15 world leaders for whom data was available, the Spanish prime ministers (Mariano Rajoy up to June and Pedro Sánchez from June onwards) had the best track record with 985 tons of CO² emitted. The Spanish leaders still managed the lowest carbon emissions despite the fact that they travelled approximately 175,000 km, more than Trump (130,000 km) and Moon (164,000 km). The Spanish government mostly uses the airplane model Falcon 900, which is far smaller than the Boeing and Airbus planes used by other countries, which are the size of commercial airliners. Theresa May, Mark Rutte (Netherlands) and Michel Temer (who was the president of Brazil in 2018) all used smaller planes and found themselves at the bottom of the ranking.

UK Prime Ministers have covered 1,125,467 kilometres over the past decade, equating to 620 tonnes of carbon dioxide, versus US Presidents’ 452 tonnes.

Political Pollution dissects the carbon footprint of notable political figures in the UK and USA to reveal the true environmental cost of international trips.

Recommended annual CO2 emissions to moderate climate change are 0.6 tonnes per person - Obama exceeded this 95 times each year, and Trump 28.

Notable leaders need to significantly reduce their international travels in order to bring their carbon footprint in line with climate change recommendations, new research shows.

New analysis has revealed that Barack Obama’s annual carbon footprint when travelling internationally was more than three times higher than Donald Trump’s is currently - Obama produced an average of 57.33 tonnes each year, compared to Trump’s 16.89 tonnes.

In the UK, Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations led to annual CO2 emissions of 44.48 tonnes. Boris Johnson’s emissions last year were substantially lower at 10.94 tonnes, although he may exceed that once flight restrictions are lifted, having emitted 6.5 tonnes in January.

According to My Climate, the maximum amount of CO2 that can be generated per person each year from flying is 0.6 tonnes. However, the average annual amount of CO2 generated by a single person in the EU is 8.4 tonnes - 14 times the target level.

Political Pollution reveals that Obama exceeded the recommended level by an average of 95.5 times each year, while Trump exceeded climate change recommendations by 28 times. Obama also matched the average EU carbon footprint a staggering 6.83 times over.

The study also looks at the carbon footprint of the prolific members of the British Royal Family, revealing that Prince Harry’s emissions since 2017 were 30% more than Prince William’s - equating to 0.01kg more CO2 per kilometre.

Over the past year, Angela Merkel has had the highest carbon footprint when travelling internationally with 79 tonnes of CO2, followed by Emmanuel Macron with 61.5 tonnes. Donald Trump was the most eco-friendly traveller over the past year, emitting just 10.094 tonnes of CO2.

Although the majority of international trips made by politicians are essential, the research serves as a reminder for all members of society to take responsibility for their carbon footprint moving forward, particularly over holiday season.

The research is revealed ahead of Earth Day 2020, in line with this year’s focus on climate action, in order to meet climate change commitments.

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