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UN to Decrease Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Month of August

Taking aim at climate change in the landmark United Nations building in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched a new campaign, “Cool UN,”. Photo credit, United Nations

1 August 2008: The United Nations plans to decrease its

carbon footprint for the month of August by increasing the temperature in its

New York Headquarters and eliminating air conditioning on the weekends. The

initiative will result in an emissions decrease of the equivalent of 300 pounds

of carbon dioxide and, if the trial period is successful and the initiative is

extended, could save the UN roughly US$1 million annually.

Speaking at the unveiling of the initiative, Michael

Adlerstein, Executive Director of the United Nations Capital Master Plan, said significant

energy savings – possibly exceeding a 40% reduction in energy use – would be incorporated

into the UN Headquarters renovation plans, and that wind generation would be

introduced for demonstration purposes. On 1 August, two

days after the Secretary-General's announcement, Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive

Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

(ESCAP), declared that the “Cool UN” initiative would also be expanded to

include the UN's Bangkok offices. [UN press release, 30 July 2008] [UN News Centre article, 1 August 2008] [UN News Centre article, 30 July 2008] [UN press Conference, 30 July 2008]