Discussing Climate Change in Copenhagen

December 15, 2009
United Nations Climate Change Conference

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP-15, opened in Copenhagen on December 7th.  Fifteen thousand delegates are expected to attend, including 110 heads of state and government from 192 countries. Their objective is to establish a binding global climate agreement, to include as many countries as possible, to commit to a reduction in man-made greenhouse gases which have a negative effect on our climate.  Our Copenhagen Marriott is hosting hundreds of delegates and we're honored to play a small part in this historic dialogue.  

You may have read some of my blogs about our partnership with the State of Amazonas and Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to protect 1.4 million acres of pristine rainforest in Brazil.  Marriott's $2 million contribution is funding a comprehensive, scientific program to safeguard the rainforest from illegal farming and logging. We've also funded medical facilities, a community center and a school to teach the children how to be guardians of the rain forest.  We've told our associates, guests and meetings planners about the project and they have supported our efforts, also.

In Copenhagen, we hosted a panel with the State of Amazonas and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to share the results of the project.  The results in Juma are providing practical experience about the viability of protecting rain forests, mitigating climate change and reducing poverty.

Over the last year, Marriott has worked with Avoided Deforestation Partners to advocate for rainforest preservation in U.S. federal climate change legislation.  Avoided Deforestation Partners will host a side event this week entitled Reducing Emissions from Deforestation: Opportunities for U.S. Initiatives in Support of a Global Framework. Marriott will be in attendance at this event which is expected to include UN delegates and visiting U.S. congressional staff.

At the end of week, on December 18, Marriott will participate in a UN-sanctioned panel, Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change – Perspectives from the Travel & Tourism Sector.  We will talk about how Marriott has integrated sustainability into our hotel operations. This includes the Juma rain forest project but also our commitment to reduce our energy and water use by 25 percent by the year 2017 and build greener, more energy efficient hotels.

I am proud that Marriott International has been invited to participate in this momentous event. Our commitment to the environment is something I feel strongly about.  Above all, it’s a testimony to the dedication and efforts of countless individuals around the globe who share our “Spirit to Preserve” the planet. If you'd like to learn more about it, you can click on the rain forest link on marriott.com.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Discussing Climate Change in Copenhagen

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I just started reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman. A notable point in the book, if we are conserving energy and resources the net effect won't change if China, India and Qatar are building cities that are not. We need more rain forests, renewable energy, etc. America needs to develop a better model so others don't repeat our consumption patterns and demand for limited resources. In a global economy, with increasing population, recycling and renewable energy will help, but more needs to be done to keep life on Earth diverse and plentiful. To many species of plants and animals in the last few decades are gone forever. Let's change the course. Like the race to the moon, America can rise to a new leadership challenge. Marriott is helping with its leadership, we all can too, if we contact businesses, schools, and politicians and let them know we care.

Hello, My name is Gary Fernet and I'm an energy savings consultant associated with Ekon Energy Management Group located in Daytona Beach Florida. My passion is to reduce the carbon foot print here in Florida and everywhere I can be of help.Reading this blog has made me aware just how much Bill Marriott is helping in the daunting fight against deforestation & global warming.Energy management is also a crucial step that every business needs to implement as soon as possible.I have to take time and commend Bill Marriott for being such a huge global partner in protecting one of planet earth's most precious resources such as threes and the rain forest. You are a true hero in my book.