QATAR has taken a pioneering lead in a United Nations Environment Programme’s initiative aimed at reducing or totally curbing the use of paper in international conferences, Gulf Times learnt yesterday.
The initiative, expected to save greenhouse gas emissions linked with the shipment of conference documents and publications to and from meetings, was being adopted by the joint meeting of the 8th conference of the parties to the Vienna Convention and 20th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer ongoing at the Doha Sheraton.
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday, the executive secretary of the UNEP’s Ozone Secretariat Marcos Gonzalez commended Qatari government for taking the lead, while saying that he hoped for a paperless conference in forthcoming UN meetings.
He said that for the initiative to be carried through, delegates were being issued with laptops and given lessons on how to minimise paper in terms of documents, reports and publications.
A senior ozone expert at the Qatar Ministry of the Environment Waleed al-Emadi observed that in the US alone, there have been estimates that 10% reduction in the use of paper in offices could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6bn tonnes.
“Less printing also means less ink, less use of heavy metals such as cadmium and less use of electricity. Imagine the environmental improvements around the world if paperless or near paperless meetings and conferences can be part of daily life,” he said.
Also present at the press briefing was the UNEP spokesperson and head of media services Nick Nuttall.
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