U.S. Sen. John Barrasso wants to know the environmental impact of President Joe Biden’s trip to a global climate change conference in Scotland expected to be attended by tens of thousands of people.
Barrasso sent a letter to President Biden, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttitieg, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking them how much travel will cost and for details on the carbon “footprint” of the trip to Glasgow, site of this year’s United Nations “conference of the parties” or “COP” to address climate change.
“In addition to the staggering cost of the conference, I am concerned that what appears to be a bloated US delegation will prove counterproductive to the COP’s mission,” Barrasso wrote.”These commitments strike a tone of insincerity as a majority of COP26 delegates will have contributed a significant amount of carbon emissions to attend COP26.”
The senator cited a TIME magazine article calling the two-week conference the most expensive climate change gathering in history and said he was “perplexed” at the decision for so many Biden officials to attend the conference when they could have participated electronically.
“People all over the world made the transition to teleconferencing as a means of maintaining communication with friends and co-workers, and attending conferences,” he wrote.
“It is rather perplexing that in this new age of digital communications and during an ongoing pandemic, executive branch departments and agencies are unnecessarily choosing to contribute directly to carbon emissions and risk exposure to COVID-19,” Barrasso said.
CNN reported that Biden plans to send 13 cabinet members and senior administration officials to the conference.