U.N. raises thermostats to cut emissions, save money
July 31, 2008
In a bid lead by example on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveiled “Cool UN,” an initiative which seeks to limit the use of air conditioning, slash greenhouse gas emissions and save money.
The new programme — which begins Friday — will raise the thermostats in most parts of the U.N. building in New York from 72 to 77 degrees. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems will shut down over the weekend.
“We have succeeded in moving climate change to the top of the international agenda for action, and this means that the UN must take action itself,” said Ban.
The one-month-long scheme during August is expected to cut the UN’s carbon dioxide emissions by 300 tons, a 10 per cent reduction in energy consumption for the air conditioning systems. It will save $100,000.
As part of “Cool UN,” Ban is encouraging both personnel and delegates to dress less formally, including by having men leave their ties at home.
“Let us have some fun — while at the same time we make a contribution to reducing global emissions,” Ban said.
Depending on the effectiveness of the initiative, it could be extended to winter months, with a 5-degree lowering of thermostats.