Today, the second week of the climate talks in Paris kicks off, which is attended by 50,000 visitors. The conference has pulled 142 of the world’s leaders to France, where they will negotiate binding conditions to limit global climate change to the 2.0 Celsius limit, necessary to limit the most sever negative effects of climate change.
142 of the world’s leaders – including Presidents, Prime Ministers and monarchs – kicked off the first week of the climate conference COP21 with short speeches. The negotiations started shortly after, with as goal to develop a new climate change accord that will be effective from 2020, when the current Kyoto agreement ends. The aim of the conference is to limit global warming to no more than 2.0 Celsius*, rather than the 2.7 to 3 Celsius that would follow from current pledges by individual nations.
At the conference, which runs from the 30th of November to the 11th of December, 50,000 participants are taking part, of which around 25,000 belong to delegations. Delegates include negotiators from countries as well as their staff, but also representatives from NGOs and the UN. The conference is the biggest of its kind ever, further underlining the importance of the conference to the world’s future.
Climate conference costs
The French are said to be paying €187 million to host the event, taking place in the fortified Le Bourget Exhibition Centre, near the Le Bourget airport in Paris. €20.5 million is budgeted for the preparation, €7.5 million for the reception of international delegates and €151 million for the organisation of the conference itself. Costs include the hire of the centre at €13.2 million, the addition of temporary meeting rooms (€51.1 million) and the transport of delegates (€7.2 million). Security costs were estimated at around €6.2 million, but have, since the attacks in Paris three weeks ago, seen significant increases.
The record price tag for climate conferences prior to COP21 was that of the COP15 conference in 2009, where the 1997 Kyoto agreement was extended until 2020, with 26,661 participants. The climate conferences have occurred yearly since 1995, when COP1 was held in Berlin with 3,969 participants. The smallest conference was the COP2 in Geneva in 1996, with 1,501 participating. COP22 is expected to be held in Marrakech from 7 to 18 November 2016.
Climate change and environmental concerns have been an issue raised by various consulting firms in the past year. Examples include a recent report from Accenture and the UN Global Compact into stimulating the business case for climate change initiatives, KPMG’s research into how banks – as one of the world’s largest financers – can affect climate change implementation, and Mercer’s report on the risk of climate change to investors. Deloitte has also been doing its bit by limiting its own footprint.
* Although recent scientific research may revise down to a 1.5 C limit.