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Update: Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Greg Clark has issued a press release on this story.

John Redwood MP Rather like rock stars who take a private jet to play at an event condemning the evils of climate change, Whitehall departments sometimes fail to practice what they preach, as John Redwood has uncovered:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many UK Ministers and officials attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan on 13 December 2008; and what method of transportation each used. [246697]

Joan Ruddock: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Poznan in December 2009, known as the 14th Conference of the Parties (or COP14) was attended by two Ministers and 45 officials. Delegates attended from different Departments across Whitehall to ensure the full range of issues could be addressed by UK experts. Of the total, 33 delegates attended from the Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Ministers in attendance were Secretary of State Ed Miliband, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Joan Ruddock.

The 47 delegates travelled to and from Poznan in the following proportions:

Number

By air to Warsaw and rail to Poznan

16

By air to Poznan, including both Ed Miliband and Joan Ruddock

30

By rail from the British embassy in Warsaw

1

All emissions resulting from DECC's international commitments are offset. In April 2006 the UK developed a Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF) as part of the wider UK Sustainable Development Strategy to meet the commitment to offset emissions arising from official and ministerial air travel."

What with all the hot air that will have been expended at the conference, that's quite a contribution.

This country used to run half the globe with a handful of Classics graduates.

On another note, there can be little doubt after the last few months that John Redwood should serve in the next Conservative Cabinet.

Tom Greeves

Greg Clark commented:

"The Copenhagen talks later this year are clearly vitally important for getting an international agreement on tackling climate change. But it is astonishing that the Government would need to fly out 46 delegates to represent Britain, not least because of the carbon footprint.

The creation of a Department for Energy and Climate Change was meant to co-ordinate the Government's approach to this important issue. Clearly this is not yet working as a third of the delegates were from other Government departments."

20 comments for: Government sends two ministers and 45 officials to conference on climate change

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