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WFP Launches Carbon Footprint Calculator to Minimize Environmental Impact

For many people in developing countries, predictable weather patterns are the key to growing enough food to survive.

NEP_200707_WFP-James_Giambrone_0016But as the global climate begins to change, areas that were already susceptible to drought and flooding face an increasing number of natural disasters that will make it even more challenging for the world's poorest people to obtain the food they need.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has already established a variety of climate-related projects in places like Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Haiti. Now the agency is taking a look at its own inner-workings and how they relate to climate change - with its newly-launched carbon emissions calculator, WFP will measure the amount of "greenhouse gases" emitted from its flights and track its own impact on the environment.

By tracking emissions, WFP can identify ways to cut back on excess travel and minimize its impact on the planet. "Based on the information the carbon footprint calculator produces, we can decide how we can reduce - and where," said Fiona Barron, a consultant with WFP's travel unit.

WFP also hopes that the calculator will raise awareness about how individual travel impacts the environment. According to Sheila Dunne, head of WFP's travel unit, business class passengers create approximately twice the climate footprint of economy class travelers. "We hope this will make people more conscious when they decide to travel, if the travel isn't essential," she said.

Read "Climate Change: A humanitarian challenge for the 21st century."

-Alli Bailey
Communications Assistant
Friends of WFP

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Erin Cochran
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ecochran@wfpusa.org

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