President Barack Obama may warn that carbon dioxide is causing global warming, but his flight to Paris to join other world leaders at the United Nations climate summit emitted more CO2 than driving 72 cars for a year.
Obama’s Paris jaunt will send more CO2 into the atmosphere than 31 American homes‘ energy usage for an entire year. The president’s trip is equivalent to burning 368,331 pounds of coal or 797 barrels of oil, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon footprint calculator.
Just one leg of the president’s Sunday trip to Paris emitted 189 tons of CO2 after travelling 3,855 miles and burning 19,275 gallons of jet fuel, according to Daily Caller News Foundation calculations based on past presidential flights. Obama’s return flight to Washington, D.C., would double the amount of CO2 burned to 378 tons — more than 72 cars driving for a year.
Obama has been criticized for past plane rides in the name of fighting global warming. Earlier this year, Obama flew down to the Everglades for Earth Day and was hammered for potentially damaging the fragile eco-system and costing taxpayers more than $866,000.
World leaders will meet Monday in Paris to kick off the U.N.’s 21st attempt to get countries to sign onto a global agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Obama wants signing a climate treaty to be a part of his presidential legacy, and administration staff have been working tirelessly to convince other countries, like China, to agree to emissions cuts.
Obama even vetoed the Keystone XL oil pipeline project because it would “undercut” the U.S.’s image of being a leader in the fight against global warming. His Keystone XL decision came less than one month before delegates meet to hash out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol this week.
“Now, we’ve made a lot of progress to cut carbon pollution here at home, and we’re leading the world to take action as well,” Obama said in a recent Facebook post. “But we’ve got to do more. In a few weeks, I’m heading to Paris to meet with world leaders about a global agreement to meet this challenge.”
Despite the president’s attempts to “green” America’s image, the plane rides he and other world leaders will be taking to get to Paris are more than likely to attract attention give the large amounts of CO2 they will emit.
Indeed, the U.N.’s 2012 climate summit in Doha, Qatar resulted in 11,538 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The U.N. says it “offsets” emissions from climate summits by paying into the Adaptation Fund — set up in 2001 to fund global warming adaptation projects.
But the transportation for Paris summit participants alone will put out lots of CO2 — the enemy of global warming campaigners. More than 40,000 people are expected to attend the summit, and there will be 2,800 French policemen guarding summit-goers.
The U.N. says the “French government will offset all emissions from travel of registered participants, as well as those from the conference facilities and local operations” by giving money to the international body’s Adaptation Fund. This will “offset” the emissions from the Paris summit by March 2016, according to the U.N.
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