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Top UN climate scientist says businesses should cut carbon by videoconferencing

22nd July, 2008

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, appeared by videolink at a Westminster event last week to highlight the role that new videoconferencing and telepresencing technologies can play in reducing the need for business travel. The event, titled Is your journey really necessary? was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Aviation Group with support from SCC and Tandberg.

Dr Pachauri welcomed the work of the all-party group, to which AEF provides policy advice, for bringing together MPs and Lords across the political spectrum to address the challenge of aviation’s growing carbon emissions. He emphasised the importance of developing both the infrastructure and IT support needed to make teleconferencing an effective alternative to air travel, and advocated the introduction of progressive taxation, linked to airline efficiency, for international civil aviation.

Other speakers at the event included Peter Lockley, who described WWF-UK’s campaign for businesses to commit to cutting 1 in 5 flights, Jennifer Clark and Simon Higginson of Skanska, who outlined how the company’s recent investment in telepresencing technology paid for itself within six months, and Saskia Merriman of Accenture, where staff enthusiasm for telepresence has resulted in their dedicated rooms being consistently booked out ever since they were installed.

For further information about the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Aviation Group, please contact Jeff Gazzard:

Please find details of WWF-UK’s One in Five campaign here.

Slides from the event can be downloaded from the list below:

Welcome and introduction – Lord Faulkner of Worcester, Chair, and David Taylor MP, Treasurer

Travelling Light and WWF’s 1 in 5 challenge – Peter Lockley, Head of Transport Policy, WWF-UK

Measuring and Monitoring Business Travel – the Icarus project – Paul Tilstone, CEO, Institute of Travel Management

Case study from an environmental NGO – Jeff Gazzard, Aviation Environment Federation

Case study from the construction industry and remote sites – Jennifer Clark and Simon Higginson, Skanska

Case study from City institutions – worldwide commerce and communications – Saskia Merriman, Accenture

What videoconferencing technology can do to help cut carbon and improve productivity – David Lewis, SCC, and Michael Stephens, TANDBERG