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Hardly green, Lima UN climate talks on track for record carbon footprint

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Carbon footprint:

—Construction, nearly 20 percent of the footprint.

—Jet fuel burned by the estimated 11,000 delegates and observers who flew in from abroad. About 30 percent.

—Local transportation. Organizers hired more than 300 buses since there are no public transit services to the venue. All burn fossil fuels. About 15-20 percent.

—Electricity, solid waste treatment, water, paper, food, disposable plates and cups, keeping 40,000 police on high alert. The balance.

A more accurate carbon footprint will be published after the conference and certified by the Spanish company Aenor, organizers say. U.N. volunteers have been polling delegates on their air travel in search of precision.

The conference’s green components are meager.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal asked for a bicycle parking lot. He got it, but only about 40 people use it daily. Most delegates spend about an hour in traffic traveling less than 6 miles (10 kilometers) from their hotels.

Blame that, in part, on the army. It initially balked on letting in bikes even though only the credentialed can enter the base known as “El Pentagonito.”

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