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Climate talks generate 25 000 tonnes of CO2

The latest round of UN climate talks in Cancun is generating between 20,000 tonnes and 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, Mexico's environment ministry said today.

The ministry's Hernando Guerrero said the carbon footprint, which is being offset, included the emissions from the flights and transport for the thousands of delegates attending the conference aimed at tackling global warming - and even the emissions from cooking food during the fortnight of negotiations.

The figure is four or five times higher than the estimate for the emissions generated by last year's chaotic talks in Copenhagen, but Mr Guerrero said that was because in Mexico, unlike in Copenhagen, they had counted "every emission" for the delegates.

He said all the emissions were being offset through forest schemes in the region that will pay farmers to protect jungle and woodland on their land and will also see forests restored.

"This is an event that has to leave a zero carbon footprint," he told reporters.

He also said all the rubbish from the conference was being recycled, people were being transported around in biodiesel buses, and renewable energy sources had been installed, including hurricane-proof solar panels and a wind turbine.

He said the Mexican government had worked with the luxurious Moon Palace Golf And Spa Resort where the conference is being held in a bid to cut the venue's emissions.

The hotel had a number of environmental measures, which included collecting and releasing turtles that hatched on the beach and water-saving measures, he added, noting that the government had also worked with the venue on eco-efficiency training.

He said 61 other hotels in the resort of Cancun had worked with organisers to reduce their emissions by 9,900 tonnes through efficiency measures.

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