UN Climate Summit Speakers FLY 1 Million Miles to Vilify Air Travel, Carbon Output

Guests fly in from as far as China, India and Peru.

The UN Climate Summit 2014 was a glaring example of hypocrisy. Just the speakers alone, not the attendees or notable guests for the summit, traveled a grand total of 1,036,537 miles from locations as distant as China, India and Peru. That’s enough miles to circle the equator 41.6 times.

According to the UN itself, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “more than 95 percent of our total carbon footprint resulted from air travel.”

This isn’t the first time that climate alarmists have demonstrated their hypocrisy with a “do what we say, not what we do” message. Al Gore has been criticized for flying to events in a private plane. Naomi Klein, a registered participant of the event (though not one of the speakers), is very critical of air travelers, even though she flies frequently. The Guardian reported on Sept. 14, that Klein actually flies “a lot more than most people, and is set to rack up enough air miles to make her, by her own admission, a ‘climate criminal.’”

Yet, Klein had no problem criticizing the passengers of a plane that was temporarily delayed on the tarmac due to softening asphalt during the summer of 2013. “[I]t’s no mystery why this has been happening: the profligate burning of fossil fuels, the very thing that US Airways was bound and determined to do despite the inconvenience presented by a melting tarmac,” Klein wrote confidently. “This irony – the fact that the burning of fossil fuels is so radically changing our climate that it is getting in the way of our capacity to burn fossil fuels – did not stop the passengers of 3935 from reembarking and continuing their journeys.”

Consequently, the BBC reported that this can happen in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). The temperature that day was reportedly 100 degrees, which wasn’t a record, or even the hottest day for that summer. 

The Media Research Center looked at the UN Climate Summit Programme 2014, and calculated the total miles between the capital city of each participant’s country of origin and New York City, where the climate summit is being held. Since this tally didn’t include layovers or transfers, the actual number of miles traveled is most likely higher than the total from this study.

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.