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Copenhagen (day 6 of summit): Boats, Trains and Automobiles
2:57 PM MST | December 14, 2009 | By ALEX SCOTT
The Copenhagen United Nations climate summit arguably is the world’s most important peace time meeting of the past 50 years. With so much at stake for the chemicals industry (as well as the planet), unlike CW’s direct competitors, it was decided early on that the magazine would send a correspondent to the event.
In a nod to the intentions of the meeting to reel in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, when I booked my travel arrangements back in June, I chose to go by 100% biodiesel car, boat and then train. No planes.
The flight time from
By contrast, my multi-vehicle journey will have taken me (I am still 2 hours off the Danish
* Biodiesel Car 232 miles (373km) at 120 grams/km x 0.15 (as calculated by climate statistician Chris Goodall in ‘How to Live a Low-carbon Life.’ = 6.7kg of CO2
* Passenger ferry for 1,222 kms = 152 kg (according to www.carbonindependent.org)
* Train for 440 miles (708km) return = 16.2 kg of CO2.
The biodiesel I used in my car is not yet the second generation cellulosic biofuel that several key players in the chemicals industry are set to roll out in 2010, although it is as sustainable having been made from waste cooking oil including used oil for cooking French fries and fish. The only downside is the slight smell of fish and fries.
Before you accuse me of powering my car on nothing more than self satisfaction I readily put my hands up and acknowledge that this saving is just a drop in the CO2 ocean. But it’s a start and a point to myself that there are alternatives.
The less carbon intensive journey seemed like a good idea at the time. Yet as the voyage neared I became keenly aware of the weeks of constant gales that had been screaming over my route in the North Sea, which lies between
I am slightly over half way to
CW’s correspondence from