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Science Policy

The Carbon Footprint of Conference Papers
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Author: Diomidis Spinellis et al.

by Diomidis Spinellis, Panos Louridas

The action required to stem the environmental and social implications of climate change depends crucially on how humankind shapes technology, economy, lifestyle and policy. With transport CO2 emissions accounting for about a quarter of the total, we examine the contribution of CO2 output by scientific travel. Thankfully for the reputation of the scientific community, CO2 emissions associated with the trips required to present a paper at a scientific conference account for just 0.003% of the yearly total. However, with CO2 emissions for a single conference trip amounting to 7% of an average individual’s total CO2 emissions, scientists should lead by example by demonstrating leadership in addressing the issue.