The IUCN World Conservation Congress is a truly unique event in its capacity to unite so many members of the global environmental community. To the delegates, this unmatched opportunity for learning, exchanging ideas, and meeting new people is priceless.
Yet, the world’s largest environmental gathering represents a cost for the planet. An independent greenhouse gas assessment of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, held from 5 to 14 October 2008, conducted by ECCM, estimated that the event generated 7’934 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.
With almost 7’000 delegates and staff attending from the four corners of the world, air travel to Barcelona represented the largest source of greenhouse emissions at close to 80% of the total. On-site, emissions remained marginal due notably to the high environmental standards of the conference venue.
Thanks to the support of participants and donors, the total estimated footprint of the Barcelona Congress was offset 100% through an investment in an innovative mitigation project in the Mediterranean region. Contributions collected through the Barcelona Carbon Offset Fund were used to purchase from the Climate Neutral Group, the equivalent of 7’934 tons of CO2 equivalents from a CDM certified organic composting project in Sharkia, Egypt.