Actions to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference, COP 19/ CMP 9

The UNFCCC secretariat is committed to sustainable development practices such as the improved management of operations and facilities. The UN as a whole and the UNFCCC itself have mandates to strive to increase sustainability efforts and cut carbon footprint.

The UNFCCC secretariat has achieved its aim of full climate neutrality by the end of 2012, through emission avoidance and reduction, plus an offsetting scheme using Adaptation Fund CERs for the remaining balance. The secretariat is continuing its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference and minimize wastage of all resources, including paper, related to it. Participants in the UNFCCC process are invited to be part of this effort and your cooperation and support are highly appreciated.

Actions to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference


For trips to Warsaw, where feasible, the train should be used instead of car, coach or plane. Parties and representatives in a position to do so are invited to consider offsetting the carbon footprint associated with their attendance at the conference.

In Warsaw, travel by foot, bicycle or public transportation as much as possible. Where the latter is not available, arrange group pick-up from the hotel. The secretariat will purchase CERs and cancel an amount equivalent to its overall carbon footprint, thereby offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions including those caused by travel to Warsaw of staff and funded participants.


If possible, choose a hotel that is operated in an environmentally responsible manner. Select a hotel located near public transportation.

Shipment allowance

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference, and due to logistical considerations such as storage, the secretariat will not be in a position to receive shipments in excess of a cumulative total weight of 150 kg per Party and observer organization.

Parties or observer organizations organizing 'areas' 1 within delegation offices on a commercial basis will be permitted an extra allowance of 50 kg per 'area'. Detailed information on consignments and shipping, including on customs clearance, will be made available in due course.

Recommendations on paper use and recycling

Participants are encouraged to print only what is minimally necessary prior to the sessions. Once on site in Warsaw, request only essential documents from the Documentation Services Desk. Print and photocopy on both sides and keep the font size to a legible minimum. Collect and re-use paper that has print on one side only.

Any paper used (e.g. for promotional material, programmes, signs) should be 100 per cent recycled, with a minimum of 65 per cent of post-consumer waste content and totally or elemental chlorine free. The use of colour paper should be avoided. Use the waste collectors provided during the session and recycle items such as bottles, cans and paper.

Distribution of paper documents in general

Efforts are being made to reduce paper consumption. In this context, participants - including exhibitors - are requested to distribute limited amounts of paper documents only if and where necessary. Instead, the secretariat recommends the use of USB flash drives and CD-ROMs for the dissemination of information. Posting Quick Response (QR) codes on exhibit stands or poster boards is also encouraged.

For the distribution of publications and other information materials at exhibit stands or side events, the secretariat encourages organizers to use the web-posting function of the Side Events and Exhibits Online Registration System (SEORS) and upload electronic publications onto the UNFCCC website. This function also allows advertising and reporting of side events.

1 In this context, an 'area' is defined as a clearly defined and delimited space, incorporated as such in the secretariat's space allocation scheme and regardless of its size, where Member States showcase their achievements, products and services pertaining to climate change.

Distribution of materials through pigeonholes

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of side events and exhibits, as per past practice flyers for side events and outside events will not be accepted for distribution through pigeonholes. Side event schedules will be announced through the UNFCCC website, the Side Events and Exhibits brochure, the secretariat's poster board listing the day's events, and the free UNFCCC iPhone/ iPad application Negotiator.

Information on outside events may also be posted on the UNFCCC website. Please note that the secretariat strongly encourages materials in electronic/ digital format (USB flash drives, CD-ROM, etc.). Authorization is unlikely to be given unless the materials are in such format. Please consult the secretariat via before the arrival of the materials at the venue if you have any questions.

Participants are requested to refrain from distributing non-official material, such as information related to other meetings, future conferences or publicity material, via the pigeonholes. On an exceptional basis, personalized invitations, publications or documents by a Party or an admitted observer organization that are clearly attributed to the climate change negotiations may be authorized for distribution through the pigeonholes.

Electronic dissemination of information

As an alternative to printed materials, the secretariat encourages the use of QR codes or similar mobile tags for the electronic dissemination of information to the extent possible. In this context, please note that daily updates on the negotiations such as ENB, ECO, and TWN will mainly be disseminated in electronic formats. In order to facilitate access, the secretariat will include web links to these updates in the Daily Programme.

The publishing organizations may display a copy with QR codes at their exhibit stand and/or poster boards. The Daily Programme for the conference will be made available in electronic form only. A PDF version will be made available each morning on the UNFCCC conference website.

Energy conservation

Turn off room lights and IT equipment when not in use and enable energy-saving features.

Recycling of badges and lanyards

Please keep the UNFCCC lanyard for use at your next UNFCCC meeting or alternatively, return it to the secretariat after the conference. Boxes will be placed by the main entrance of the National Stadium for this purpose.